home? your "new day" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "new day" with chris cuomo, kate bolduan and michaela pereira. >> good morning. welcome to "new day," it is thursday, december 26th, 6:00 in the east. we hope you all had a wonderful, holy day. breaking news overnight, a new video message from an american being held captive by al qaeda raising alarming concerns about his condition. warren weinstein is who you're looking at. he's been held for more than two years. he now says his health is failing and the clock is ticking. the question, will the president and secretary of state take action to bring him home? cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr is with us this morning to break down this video, tell us the latest. please, let's begin by resetting who is this man, how was he taken? >> reporter: warren weinstein, chris, was a contractor working
for the u.s. government in lahore, pakistan in 2011 when militants broke into his house, overpowered his security guards and kidnaped him. it was after that that ayman al zawahiri claimed responsibility for this attack and claimed that al qaeda was holding him. now, mr. weinstein after all this time, has appeared again in another video, we believe, of course he made this under duress. we cannot verify the conditions of it. this man is now making yet another plea, he seems very desperate. i want you to have a listen to what he has to say. >> nine years ago, i came to pakistan to help my government. and did i so at a time when most americans would not come here. and now when i need my governme government, it seems that i've been totally abandoned and forgotten.
>> he makes a direct appeal for president obama, secretary of state john kerry, the american media, the american public, to do something to get him out of pakistan. chris? >> barbara, what is going on with getting him out of pakistan? is there movement on it? what do we understand about the operation? has there been some dropping of the ball here? what do we know? >> the state department so far this morning, very early on a holiday approaching a holiday weekend has not yet respond, trying to verify the video. the conditions that al qaeda apparently has set for his release is stopping of all u.s. action in afl-cio strongholds, releasing of al qaeda prisoners. that's not going to happen. it's hard to see where and how this is going to all turn out. of course, if you look at the video, compared to previous images of warren weinstein, you see the years indeed, as he
says, have taken their toll. he says he has an asthma condition, a heart condition and that he's in bad shape, that he's feeling desperate and abandoned. chris? >> time must be magnified under duress, barbara. we'll stay on this. obviously this is an urgent situation. thank you very much. >> reporter: indeed. the winter weather that left hundreds of thousands in the dark for the holiday, the storm we're talking about actually moved through a few days ago but the power has also now been out for days. from michigan to maine. and the result has turned deadly. the nasty weather conditions are slowing the efforts to get the powerback on and more snow seems to be in the forecast. let's get straight over to chad myers, in for indra petersons with the latest. what are we looking at, chad? >> a shot from win sore, looking over at detroit, michigan this morning, light snow, a couple of slick spots on the lodge. 24 scranton, 28 in buffalo. this is the area right through here that has all of the power
outages, hundreds of thousands still without power and the air is very cold out there and houses are getting cold. please try not to use your stove to heat the house if it's a gas stove. i know it works but the carbon monoxide is getting in the house as well. light snow across parts of michigan and heavier snow when the lake effect sets up. silver city picked up 16 inches in just 24 hours. if you're flying today, you'll see a lot of them trying to get other places, you'll get wintry mix in boston, minneapolis, chicago, detroit, you'll see de-icing delays, you'll see morning freezing rain in raleigh, watch out for piedmont. and southern california gets a wind, a santa ana event. that could kick up some dust and slow down the airports there. >> for some it was not a good christmas. on that point, big lumps of coal for u.p.s. and fedex. thousands of christmas gift
givers are furious. instead of presents, there were empty places under their tree. nick valencia is at the cnn center in atlanta. >> reporter: thousands of you are waiting at your front doors and looking out your window for your u.p.s. driver to finally christmas gifts that never arrived. the company is apologizing this morning but say it's not all their fault. u.p.s. trucks are back out in full force this morning, trying to deliver packages that were supposed to be delivered by christmas morning. >> i waited around for hours and hours for it to show up and it never did. >> reporter: thousands of gifts not delivered on time, waiting in u.p.s. warehouses to be shipped. u.p.s. says they've delivered an estimated 132 million packages in the last week alone. blaming the backlog on an unprecedented surge in online sales and bad weather. u. punch s. released a statement saying in part, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our
network, immediately preceding christmas. some shipments were delayed. but many are still unhappy. >> they're still blaming it on ice storm which was 2 1/2 weeks ago. it's terribly disappointing. we ordered these things on december 1st. >> we got to the front of the line after waiting for about an hour and said it hasn't been processed yet. >> reporter: disappointed customers stormed online customer support, tweeting got same message, still waiting for a response from this morning, along with my granddaughter's christmas gift. busy during december? who would have thought it? #bunchofclowns. >> how are you doing today? >>. >> reporter: people lined up at this fedex shipment center in oregon on christmas day. >> thank god they're open. i can go to my parents and give my mom her gift. >> reporter: meanwhile, u.p.s. says they expect the vast majority of packages to be delivered today. online companies who rely heavily on u.p.s.'s service are making amends.
amazon.com says it will refund shipping charges for some and are also giving out gift cards to make up for the botched shipments. kate? >> see if it make s up for it with customers. the good news for the retailers, it's not over yet. phase two, the after-christmas sales are heating up. some stores have been open for an hour already. yes. that's early. george, i want to hear it. first, the question on everyone's mind, did you get all of your holiday shopping done? >> most of it. most of it. i still have some to do. here's the good news. you know, i was making my way into the bureau here on chicago's magnificent mile. you get on the street, notice the big, bright signs, promising huge sales, anywhere from 40%, 50%, 60% off. here's a look at what you can
expect if you plan to go out shopping. just when you thought the holiday shopping frenzy was over, the after-christmas sales are on and this year it's expected to be bigger than ever. some stores like walmart and kohl's open their doors as early as 5:00 a.m. to anxious shoppers just hours after christmas. according to deal news, you'll get the best bang for your buck on clothing, brand new hdtvs and holiday treats and decor. >> the discounts will definitely be deep this week. but what you're getting are leftovers. you can guarantee you'll see some 70%, 75% off discounts on wrapping paper and christmas tree trinkets. >> reporter: the sales aren't just in stores. they're online, too. >> we're doing a lot of amazon.com, online shopping. >> reporter: retailers like amazon.com, old navy and saks fifth avenue are amping up their
day-after christmas sales in hopes of cashing in on holiday cheer. >> the week after christmas can account for as much as 15% of what retailers see during the entire holiday season. if you add it all up, this final week is just as important for retailers as the week before is. >> reporter: experts say the 26th is also a big day for gift card purchases with target customers cashing in their stocking stuffers the most today. >> gift cards for seven years in a row now have been the most requested gift item. we're expecting gift cards to bring in $28 billion once they've all been redeemed. >> reporter: and for those of you who may be lugging around that sack of returns, some advice from "consumer reports." be sure to read the fine print on your receipts for the exact return window. and to see if you can get an extension on holiday gifts. also, be on the lookout for restocking fees and keep in mind that some items, like video games and movies, can't be returned once you've opened them.
so the stores today are really waiting, chris and kate, on people like me, to go in and do that after-christmas shopping. this is the week, according to the national retail federation that stores could make up to 15% of their overall sales. they are count on people who waited until the last minute, counting on people with the gift cards and of course those shoppers looking for the best deals. >> you're just helping the economy, george. i understand. >> doing my best, you know. >> thanks, george. >> we'll talk about shopping. how about shopping for health care? we have new developments for you on obamacare, the extension to sign up was so nice, they're doing it twice. the date to sign up for coverage will be extended to help those that got caught up by website issues. even better, the obama administration says those people may still be able to get coverage that starts january 1st. as for the president he spent his christmas in hawaii, spending time with those helping to keep the country safe.
athena jones is with the president live in honolulu this morning. what's the latest? >> good morning, chris. it's not unusual for the president to visit the marine base just a few minutes from his rental home here in hawaii. he goes there to play golf, to work out. on christmas, the obamas make a special trip. >> hello, everybody! >> reporter: in what has become a christmas tradition. >> we wanted to come by and say on behalf of all americans, thank you. >> reporter: the president and first lady visited with troops at a military base near their rental home. >> we know we would not enjoy the freedoms we do if it wrn for the incredible dedication you do. >> reporter: the president thanking them for their professionalism and sacrifice. >> i had the opportunity of calling ten folks who were in afghanistan, bahrain, saudi arabia and it was just a sampling of the incredible sacrifices that all of you and your families make every day.
>> happy holidays. >> merry christmas from our family to yours. >> this is the season for millions of americans to be together with family, to continue with long-held holiday traditions and to show our gratitude to those we love. for many of our troops and newest veterans, this might be the first time in years they've been with their family on christmas. with the iraq war over and the transition in afghanistan, fewer of our men and women in uniform are deployed in harm's day than at any time during the first decade. >> reporter: the first lady calling on all americans to do their part to support military families. >> now it's our turn to serve, step up and show gratitude for the military families who have given us so much. >> reporter: now this accommodation you spoke about at the beginning is getting a lot of attention. the administration says they're making their every effort to make sure people who made their best efforts enroll in a health insurance plan by the deadline
tuesday night, midnight tuesday night, those who weren't able to complete the process will get help from customer service representatives to try to complete their enrollment in time to get coverage january 1st. now, this won't work for everyone but that's something the administration says they are working hard to give people the support to try to do. kate, chris? >> athena, thank you so much. >> the next chapter will be -- you can sign up and get coverage february 1st. they'll have to keep pushing it. >> they need the enrollment numbers to go up. >> let's get to pamela brown. she's in for michaela. she has the stop stories. >> thank you. making news on this thursday, kim jong-un telling his soldiers to prepare for a war that could start without notice. this information coming from north korea's state news agency. it says kim visited a military command center on christmas eve and told soldiers to be ready for combat at any moment. also a japanese paper claiming kim was very drunk when he ordered his uncle's execution.
"the new york times" saying the two had a heated disagreement over shellfish exports. and turkey in turmoil. protests happening in the country's major cities amid a cabinet shuffle and intensifying corruption investigation there. three senior ministers resigned on wednesday, one of them claiming turkey's prime minister knew about corruption involving the construction industry in the country. the prime minister announced the names of ten new ministers and called the corruption investigation an international conspiracy against him. the family of a california girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy might move her from the hospital. it would allow jahi macmath to continue on a breathing machine. court-appointed doctors confirm the brain dead diagnosis but the family believes she will recover. could a common knee surgery be pointless? a new study in the new england
journal of medicine looked at patients with a torn meniscus. researchers say young patients and athletes probably should have the tears fixed on the operating table but older folks whose knees are just wearing down likely need the surgery. and a special visitor for u.s. troops spending their christmas in afghanistan. country star kelly pickler paid them a visit. she's on a uso tour and spent christmas eve visiting two forward operating bases bringing gifts to service members there. she also performed at kandahar air base. she told the troops there was no place she'd rather spend christmas. >> very sweet. i think she's a big supporter of uso. >> that's great. >> it's really great. thanks, pamela. >> gets her a fan of me, helping out the men and women over there serving, it's the right thing to do. drama on a los angeles freeway. you've got to see this amazing
video. a car bursts into flames and it could have easily ended in tragedy if not for a courageous police officer and very good samaritans. details, coming up. pope francis celebrates his first christmas at the vatican. the question, did he stick to the script? answer ahead. [ 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. ♪ [ male announcer ] that's handy. the richest one percent, that's a merry chwho.mas? republicans in congress made sure of that protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways. and for those facing tough times? republicans stripped 1.3 million americans of jobless benefits folks who want to work, but cannot find a job kicking them to the curb during christmas. so to the 1.3 million americans losing benefits merry christmas - from the gop. it's wrong to leave more than a million americans behind. tell republicans: restore unemployment benefits now.
...are the hands that do good things for the whole community: the environment, seniors, kids, and animals. that's why we created the share the love event. by the end of this year, the total donated by subaru could reach 35 million dollars. you get a great deal on a new subaru. we'll donate 250 dollars to a choice of charities that benefit your community. it feels good to be a helping hand.
rei reins at the vatican. how did he do on a holiday where making an impression is so important to so many. let's go to erin mclaughlin in rome. >> all eyes were on pope francis for his first christmas at the vatican. i have to say the leader of the world's 1.2 billion catholics didn't disappoint. there's a new christmas message from pope francis. and the focus is on the poor and the forgotten. >> this is a pope who wants the catholic church to be a change agent, a force for good in the world. >> reporter: in st. peter's square on christmas day, the energy was palpable. young and old, religious and atheist gathered to hear what pope francis had to say. >> it's amazing.
it's an amazing feeling, even if i'm not a catholic or religious. >> i heard him mention peace many times. you could tell from the response around us, people are hopeful about him. >> reporter: this is not your normal christmas at the vatican. for the first time in history, two popes exchanged holiday greetings. and a record number of people requested to attend this pope's first christmas eve mass at the vatican. after the final blessing, pope francis greeted children from five different continents. >> this is a pope who loves everyone and kids in a special way. that was a classic francis moment. >> reporter: today is st. steven's day, the pope delivering this morning an angeles prayer in st. peter's square, calling for prayers for persecuted christians around the
world. chris and kate? >> erin, thank you so much. if we keep saying it over and over again, what a fabulous assignment. i hope you've really enjoyed it. she can't hear me. i think she enjoyed it. >> her silence is accepted. >> it's money time, folks, markets re-opening after a day off for the holidays. will investors be getting a gift today? will they feel the holiday spirit? >> it's the best day in the year to be in the stock market. if you back to to 1945, the s&p 500 index has risen on december 26th almost 79% of the time. boxing day appears to carry some extra punch for the stock market. so far this year, the market has been knocking out skeptics, the dow up 25% for the year. the nasdaq up 38%, the s&p 500 up 29%. those are big numbers. this is disturbing. reuters reporting that despite what target says that hackers managed to steal encrypted
personal identification numbers or p.i.n.s. the concern according to reuters, the kind of cybercriminals who stole the information from 40 million credit and debit cards might be able to crack the encrypted data. that might be one reason jp morgan chase limited how much could be taken at atms or used at stores. they stated this. really disturbing, this happened between a pretty lengthy period of time. >> key time. >> between november 27th and december 15th. that is three weeks of just passing that plastic along and possibly handing over your numbers. >> it was a big period of time. i'm not one to judge how the investigation goes but they keep saying they're early on in the investigation to figure out what really happened. this as customers are dealing with their bank statements.
>> this is disturbing. this means the crooks can reach into your bank account and take out some money. >> disturbing. much more ahead on that. we heard the talk about it being the worst congress in history but what do people really think? we'll have the answer. we'll track it by the new numbers in a new poll. >> prediction, they think it's the worse congress ever. and this is being called a christmas miracle. this car caught on fire but there was a police officer at the right place at the right time. we have an amazing story of rescue for you, coming up. ach mh to help you avoid surprises with your credit. good. i hate surprises. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and see your fico® credit score. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982.
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welcome back to "new day." if you feel like this congress has been the worst ever you are certainly not alone it appears. a new poll shows two-thirds of the country calls this the worst congress of a lifetime. chief congressional correspondent dana bash has more. >> reporter: thanks, guys. 2013 has been congress's least productive year in modern history. lawmakers get that and hear complaints from constituents all the time. believe it or not, though, there are some in the middle actively trying to make things better. freshman angus king and joe donnelly wrapped up their first year in the senate. their take on the institution is telling. >> it's still pretty bad that we haven't been able to get more done. >> the more cooperation we can get, the better off we'll be.
>> reporter: a new cnn/orc poll shows 67% of the country calls this the worst congress of their lifetime and nearly three-quarter of those people, 74%, have lived a long life, they're 50 and older. 73% say congress has done nothing to address the country's problems. the public approval of congress is still pretty low. does that surprise you. >> no, because what we see every day on television is deadlock, fights and screaming what you don't see every day is large groups of both democrats and republicans coming together to say how can we work through this process? >> reporter: one thing that is bipartisan, the blame, the public doesn't trust either party. 52% say policies of democratic congressional leaders will move the country in the wrong direction. moderate republican susan collins spent the year organizing bipartisan discussion to solve big problems.
she wants americans to have hope for 2014. >> i hope that the american people will realize that there's some of us who are trying to build bridges and bring people together and solve problems. >> reporter: congress did leave for the year on a higher note than when it started, passing a bipartisan budget through the house and senate. several senators told me they had people coming up to them all over their states thanking them for being reasonable. one told me, he thought it was a nice compliment but then realized that's a pretty low bar. chris and kate. >> excellent point. let's get tampa la brown in for michaela with the other top stories. >> great to be here with you. making news, the associated press is reporting that the leader of an al qaeda group fighting in syria has tried to kidnap united nations aide workers. the ap says iraqi intelligence officials got the information from members of another al qaeda-linked group. a u.n. worker was released in
october after being held for eight months in syria and two others were briefly held earlier this year. u.p.s. and fedex getting swamped with packages and complaints. thousands of christmas gifts didn't reach destinations in time because of bad weather and a surge in demand. complaints on social media then spiked. a u.p.s. spokeswoman says the company is, quote, terribly sorry. the muslim brotherhood is now considered a terrorist organization in egypt. that's a decree from egypt's military-backed government. it essentially means the brotherhood's activities and finances are now criminalized. the move hardens a deep divide between the two sides in egypt ahead of a referendum on a new constitution next month. mcdonald's has taken down its controversial employee website. you know the one that encouraged workers to skip fast food, get a second job and not pay for heat. the site is now offline with a message that says it's being
upgraded. the company says the site is being re-evaluated because it caused unwarranted scrutiny. love this story. a las vegas cabbie proving sin city has its share of angels. he had no second thoughts when he find a paper bag with $300,000 in his cab. for his good deed, he received a $1,000 reward and a steak dinner for two. he was also named driver of the year and the man that left the $300,000 behind, we're still waiting for him to hopefully give him a bonus. i think he earned it. >> absolutely, pamela. maybe he thought the money was fake at first. >> 28 years old. that poker player. >> they know who he is. if they know his age, they know who he is. >> there's only so many people that can fit in that. >> that was definitely a miracle
of sorts. let's go to a different type of christmas miracle. this was life and death on an l.a. freeway. a dangerous car crash that could have turned fatal. but good samaritans, a firefighter and police officer were in the right place at the right time. miguel marquez is here. >> i have driven down that freeway. it's a giant freeway in los angeles, very, very busy place. it's amazing this guy survived. this is a miracle of coincidence, the right people in the right place at the right time. hard to tell but that is a black mercedes. it lost control on a major freeway in los angeles, harder to believe, the man who was driving survived. >> it was just a matter of seconds. another 10, 15 seconds, there just would have been too much fire. >> reporter: seconds to rescue the 72-year-old man whose car burst into flames after smashing into the center divider. >> i reached in there, fumbled a
bit more. thank goodness i found that button, popped the belt and grabbed him and pulled him out. >> reporter: adding to the miracle, don thompson, a 26-year veteran of the lapd bomb squad happened to be on his way to work. his shift starting early, diving into the flames, pulling the driver to safety. >> singed hair here and first degree on the side. >> reporter: thompson did have help. miracles sometimes need company. a los angeles firefighter happened to be driving by, making the rescue seamless. >> to be able to help, do immediate patient assessment and get other resources on scene a lot quicker. he happened to be the commander of the dispatch center and called them directly to do so. >> reporter: a horrible accident an an impromptu act of heroism. >> it makes me feel good to know i saved a life. >> reporter: understatement from a veteran cop, all in a day's work. >> absolutely amazing story. the 72-year-old who survived this goes to the hospital,
complaints, neck and back. amazing. >> that's it. >> amazing that he survived. the officer singed but a christmas they will not forget certainly. >> important to note, they didn't get him out, then the car went on fire. the car was on fire. >> it was on fire. >> they were in there operating without any regard for that, doing what they had to do. >> these guys, they do it every day, rarely do we see it in action like that. >> as it said in your piece, the policeman said 10, 15 seconds more, this would have been a completely different story f. that. this guy was so cool and calm. he did not want any praise for this. clearly it was going to take this guy's life very quickly. >> thanks, miguel. coming up on "new day," the question, extortion or just enforcing a contract? a couple is fined thousands of dollars for putting a negative review online about a company. they say it's unfair, now they're suing. the company has a different take. you decide. stuck between a rock and a hard place of sorts.
something under seattle is standing in the way of building a new tunnel and they're not quite sure yet what it is. the mystery, coming up. [ sniffles, coughs ] shhhh! i have a cold with this annoying runny nose. [ sniffles ] i better take something. [ male announcer ] dayquil cold and flu doesn't treat all that. it doesn't? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting antihistamine. oh, what a relief it is! i need you. i feel so alone.
let's go around the world starting in south sudan where there are desperate calls for a cease-fire amid intense fighting and fresh claims of ethnically motivated killings. arwa damon is in nearby uganda. >> reporter: kate, fighting does continue in the oil rich northern portions of south sudan, other pockets as well. in a town that's back in government control there was evidence of fresh blood in the streets, bodies some of them burnt. shops have been looted. some shops and homes razed to the ground. civilians returning, but only to
salvage what they can before going back to seek safety at u.n. bases. the violence that has happened is terrorizing the civilian population. only beginning to get an idea of how horrific it must have been. kate. now to antarctica where a polar competent -- ship got stuck in the ice. >> three vessels are on their way to rescue a ship stranded in the ice in the antarctic. this is a ship designed for polar exploration. the australian coast guard who is coordinating this mission says the ship is east. they said on wednesday it could take two days to reach the vessel. kate? >> diana, thank you.
to a christmas tradition in the uk, boxing day. taking on a different meaning these days. it's all about the sales. now rosie tompkins has more. >> reporter: it's cold and it's only just getting light. but shoppers are undeterred. here in london, incredibly long lines of people cueing up for the notorious boxing day sales. it marks the official start to the sales. this year it has been different with online sales at a record high, counting for 20% of nonfood items. despite the shift in behavior, the people are undeterred and spending their money the traditional way with the in-store sales expected to bring in $4.2 billion. back to you, kate. all about the sales. thanks, rosie. a story we've been following for weeks. a cautionary tale for online shoppers especially as they return unwanted gifts and looking for post-christmas discounts. this couple was fined $3,500 for
posting a negative review of cleargear.com. now they are fighting back. the company says the couple didn't read the fine print. the couple says they're being extorted. pamela brown is here this morning and following this one for us. what's going on? >> we brought you this story a month ago. let me tell you, it garnered a huge response, many saying this is not fair and should be illegal. now the couple at the center of the story is taking action to fight back. a utah couple fined $3,500 for writing a negative review of cleargear.com is suing the myrrh chan the for retaliating against them. according to a lawsuit filed wednesday on the couple's behalf by public citizen. the battle began when john and jen palmer bought a few christmas gifts in 2008. but they say the items never arrived and their calls went unanswered. finally, the transaction was canceled. jen palmer vented her frustrations online, posting a review of the company on
rip-offreport.com saying in part there is absolutely no way to get in touch with a physical human being, no extensions work. then 3 1/2 years later, they received this e-mail, appearing to be from clear gear, stating they'd be fined $3,500 if the negative review wasn't taken down in 72 hours. >> it's ridiculous that anybody would turn us around and try to extort us for doing something as simple as posting a review. >> they said they signed away their freedom forbidding them from taking any action that negatively impacts cleargear.com. the palmers tried to take the review down but couldn't. clear gear apparently reported the $3,500 bill as unpaid to a collections company. >> it was bad enough that when we went to get a second card, it took them a month to find a bank
that was willing to finance us. the palmers say they tried to reach out to set this will amicably but never heard back from the company. >> part of the problem with clear gear's customer service is they're difficult to contact. >> reporter: thus according to the palmers, leaving them no choice but to sue. they're asking the court to declare they never owed the $3,500 and are seeking compensation to be determined by a jury. >> contract law isn't a game of surprise. where businesses get to extort money based on terms that the customers didn't read in the fine print. >> cnn did try reaching out to clear gear. phone numbers and e-mails on its website but did not hear back after repeated tries. cleargear.com did respond via e-mail back in november to kutv defending its actions saying, quote, its request for the palmers to take down their comment was not blackmail but a
diligent effort to help them avoid the fine. we will be keeping an eye on this story. apparently the palmers still have not heard from the company, even in the wake of filing this lawsuit. >> after all this? >> yep, after all this. >> file under bad for business. >> the fact that it hits their credit history is the really unacceptable thing about it. >> >> absolutely. >> a good one to follow up on. >> absolutely. we'll stay on top of it. >> when we come back here on "new day," taking it to the rack and sending it home. lebron james has done that. but what he did on christmas was a gift and santa was played by a man named d. wade. you need to see this. plus, did you get everything you wanted for christmas? we know one boy at least who did. the gift that had him screaming in pure joy. it's our must see moment. ahead. [ female announcer ] who are we?
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♪ hit me with your best shot we'll go with the nba, the jams are most of the time the best part. let's bring in joe carter here with this morning's bleacher report. boy this was a gift to all of us yesterday. >> it was. it was nice to sit back, open gifts and have the nba on in the background all day long. christmas is that one day of the year that the nba gets to be front and center to the entire
nation, the best teams, the biggest stars all playing on national tv. no kobe/lebron matchup but lebron was unbelievable. he delivered two signature dunks. that's the first one, a great alley-oop from dwyane wade. the second one is epic. watch what dwyane wade does here, off the glass, lebron with a huge finish. even magic johnson called it one of the greatest players he's ever seen. they beat the lakers 101-95. let's talk college football. this is the last year of the bcs, the bowl championship series. the last time a computer will pick which two teams play for the national title next year, a committee will select a four-team playoff. in a new cnn/orc poll, college football fans clearly say they're ready for change. 62% said a playoff is better
than the current bcs system. on the other side, about the same number of people said they thought the bcs did in fact get it right this year, that the computer was correct picking florida state and auburn to play for the national championship. but i think the feeling is overall when you look at the big picture of the bcs, guys, people want to see like all the other big college football -- big college sport they want to see football go to a playoff system. you have it in baseball and hockey, they want to see football go to a playoff system. >> are you pro playoff? >> i'm pro playoff. clench football is not as popular as i would have thought. >> were you surprised by that. >> that is one of the numbers i thought was baffling. 44% said they're a fan of college football. 56% said no. what's wrong with 56% of you? >> if you look at the big picture, the south would be 80%
versus many other parts of the country. when you see a playoff system in place next year, more people will get on board because it will allow that team that never would have the chance to get into, get in and compete for the national title. >> joe carter, well said, well played. happy holidays to you. >> you too, guys. they call it the object. that's it. a mystery standing in the way of a major tunnel project in seattle, drilling what will be a two-mile highway underneath the city. it was just getting started, the dig when the unidentified obstruction occurred and brought everything to a grinding halt and also at the same time sent speculation spinning across the country of what -- across the city of what this thing is. here's stephanie elam with a little more. >> reporter: no doubt, bertha is a behemoth. at five stories tall she's billed as the largest diameter
tunnel machine in the world. bertha was only a tenth of way on her nearly two-mile journey when she suddenly encountered something large enough and strong enough to stop her in her tracks. >> we're being cautious. we want to make sure we don't damage this $80 million machine. >> reporter: but what is it? the mystery is fueling lots of speculation. geologists point to how seattle's watery edges were filled in with just about anything by the city's pioneers. >> you find old shoe, newspapers, there's a boat buried in downtown seattle. you name it, it could be down there. >> reporter: another theory is it's a massive boulder left during the ice age. residents have their own guesses. >> a burial ground, maybe. >> she's taking a christmas break. >> reporter: if that's the case, bertha's christmas break started two weeks ago. since then the $3 billion opportunity project has been on hold as workers drill wells to alleviate water pressure in
front of bertha in hopes of sending workers to the front of the drill to see what she's up against. >> you can't back up. >> reporter: bertha won't be moving forward until at least early next year, after the mystery is solved. stephanie elam, cnn, los angeles. >> how did that conversation go? i've designed a five-story tall, completely dominant digging machine but it doesn't go in reverse. >> i'm sorry. it isn't funny. it's going to be expensive to figure it out but it is funny. >> they just assume wherever they pointed this thing, it would always go. >> when it's that big. >> i was trying to think of something creative. it can't just be a big rock. that has to be the very basic nature of what big bertha could do is break down rock. >> what do you think it is? >> no know. you guess. >> i have nothing. if i knew i wouldn't be asking
you two. >> no kidding. what's our must see moment? >> you'll want to see this. it's all about getting what you want for christmas. chris cuomo, still waiting for my present. 11-year-old r.j. meyer lives near montgomery, alabama. he's a big fan of auburn football to say the least. he asked santa for a new pair of nike shoes and xbox games. but what he really wanted is tickets to the bcs championship. >> oh, my god! yeah! >> what is it? >> tickets! >> tickets to what? >> his poor parents were in agony not knowing what it was. >> seriously. his mom says number 6 on his christmas gift was luck that auburn would win. now he's going to go to the big game with his dad on january 6th. >> wow, that's a great gift. >> is that how your nephew was?
>> he did have the same reaction when he opened up his gifts. coming up on "new day," forget about the grinch. too many are saying it's u.p.s. and fedex who stole christmas. where are the packages? we'll tell you why the packages are supposedly delayed and what the companies say they'll do to make up for it. hundreds of thousands of people in the dark this morning, power still out days after an ice storm covered an area from michigan to maine. we'll have the latest on the efforts to get powerback on, coming up.
(typing) ♪ (typing) ♪ we are now in a position to look at the other worlds of our solar system. ♪ our values call upon us to care about the lives of people we will never meet. ♪ we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. ♪ peace, democracy and freedom for all. ♪ age is sinking in for david beckham. ♪ for my mother.
i'm therefore appealing to you to work for my release. >> an urgent plea, an american taken captive by al qaeda begging an american president to help set him free before it's too late. hundreds of thousands waking up without power as an ice storm turns deadly. >> big-time bargains. stores are slashing their prices to get you in the door. the best deals, ahead. your "new day" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "new day" with chris cuomo, kate bolduan and michaela pereira. good morning. welcome to "new day," thursday, december 26th. 7:00 in the east. however it was spent we hope you had a meaningful holy day. breaking news, overnight, a wrenching new video, a message from an american held by al qaeda for more than two years, the pictures, take a
look, they speak volumes. his name is warren weinstein. he says his health is failing and he feels aban doned. the question is what is the u.s. doing to bring him home? cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr joins us now. what do we know about this situation. >> reporter: chris, good morning. warren weinstein was kidnapped by al qaeda militants in august of 2011 in lahore, pakistan. they broke into his home, overpowered his security guards and took hill. it was ayman alza wa h zawahiri leader of al qaeda that took credit for this. in this latest video and the government is still trying to verify the circumstances of it all, this man makes a is he desperate plea for help, making very clear just how urgent his situation is. have a listen. >> nine years ago, i came to
pakistan to help my government. and i did so at a time when most americans would not come here. and now, when i need my government, it seems that i have been totally abandoned and forgotten. >> reporter: in this 13-minute video he appeals to president obama, secretary of state john kerry, the american public, the american media, his family, for any help to get him out thereof. the conditions that his captors have set have been the release of al qaeda operatives being held by the united states and the stopping of any u.s. military action in al qaeda strongholds like yemen and pakistan. that's not going to happen. it's hard to see how all of this is going to turn out, chris. >> let's deal with the practicalities, then we'll get to the politics. when you look at those pictures, you don't have to be a medical exert to understand that it looks like time has been very hard on him. what do we understand about his condition? >> he says he is full of anxiety
and that has taken its toll on him. i think if you look at some of the previous pictures of him, you see that in his face. you see it in his mannerisms. he also says that he is suffering from acute asthma, and that he has a heart condition. and this, of course, this medical situation adding to the urgency that his family, of course, feels about wanting to get him out of there. >> now, is this a situation, therefore, politically, where there is no more movement? there are no more talks? what do you think precipitated this video? obviously he doesn't get to decide when a video gets put out. what do you think is at play here? >> i think that's exactly what the state department and intelligence community is looking at. if they have an idea of exactly what elements of al qaeda groups may be holding him in pakistan, what their loyalties are, what their situation is, they will be trying to figure out if there's any maneuvering room here to see
what can be done. he went to pakistan as a government contractor, working for a private company. this complicated things perhaps a little bit, because -- has the company had private communications with his captors? we really do not know. as always in these situations, things are very quiet publicly. they don't want to do anything that could make some arrangement that they might be working on not happen but let me emphasize, we have no knowledge that there's any discussions for his release at this point. there's been no public acknowledgement, no discussion of any such thing. >> right move seems to be to get the word out, at least for now, barbara. thank you very much for helping us this morning. let's turn to the weather. it's been days before a dangerous ice storm moved across some states. we're talking michigan to maine, power outages, with more snow
and wind on the way. let's get to chat myers in for indra petersons this morning. the wind is the thing people need to be worried about it. >> it blows right through your house, especially when the heat is not on and it keeps the men and women in those bucket trucks on the ground. it was 22 in atlantic city. that's cold all the way to the ocean. minneapolis 111, chicago 17. this is 24 hours. in 24 hours almost a foot and a half in silver city, michigan. i know it's lake-effect snow. that's what they get. you expect that. if you're flying today you may run into problems, de-icing delays, boston, new york, all these areas may have ice or frost on the plane wings. that's a 20-minute delay.
san francisco later on today, san francisco to l.a., big winds, 20, 30 miles per hour could kick up some dust. >> appreciate it. thousands are saying u.p.s. stole christmas because their gifts weren't delivered on time. nick valencia has the latest. >> reporter: this is a gripe for thousands of you. thousands are still waiting at your front door and looking out your window for your u.p.s. driver to finally deliver christmas gifts that never arrived. the company is apologizing to scores of angry customers this morning but they say it's not all their fault. u.p.s. trucks are back out in full force this morning, trying to deliver packages that were supposed to be delivered by christmas morning. >> i waited around for hours and hours for it to show up and it
never did. >> reporter: thousands of gifts not delivered on time, waiting in u.p.s. warehouses to be shipped. u.p.s. says they've delivered an estimated 132 million packages in the last week alone. blaming the backlog on an unprecedented surge in online sales and bad weather. u.p.s. released a statement, saying in part, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network, immediately preceding christmas. some shipments were delayed. but many are still unhappy. >> they're still blaming it on ice storm which was 2 1/2 weeks ago. it's terribly disappointing. we ordered these things on december 1st. >> we got to the front of the line after waiting for about an hour and said it hasn't been processed yet. >> reporter: disappointed customers stormed online customer support, tweeting got same message, still waiting for a response from this morning, along with my granddaughter's christmas gift. busy during december? who would have thought it? #bunchofclowns. >> how are you doing today? >> reporter: u.p.s.en is is the the only delivery company
experiencing delays. people lined up at this fedex shipment center in oregon on christmas day. >> they left me a note. thank god they're open, so i can go to my parents and give my mom her gift. >> reporter: meanwhile, u.p.s. says they expect the vast majority of packages to be delivered today. online companies who rely heavily on u.p.s.'s service are making amends. or trying to make amends anyway. they say they're giving gift cards and refunding the charge of shipment for some of their customers. hopefully they can make amends for those botched shipments. kate? >> all right. thanks so much. we'll check back in with you soon. a lot of people are grabbing receipts, he's talking about problems with u.p.s. and fedex. a lot of people grabbing their receipts, gift cards, heading out, hitting the cold. why? they want to hit the stores today. retailers hoping to cash in on the last few days of 2013 to turn a profit. we're not only talking about wrapping paper and ornaments and the like.
let's get to cnn's george howell in chicago. >> reporter: today will be a good day to do it. i just noticed here on magnificent mile, the big sales, you see the red signs promising huge discounts from 40%, 50%, 60% off, stores doing everything they can to get you in the doors. just when you thought the holiday shopping frenzy was over. the after-christmas sales are on. and this year, it's expected to be bigger than ever. some stores like walmart and kohl's open their doors as early as 5:00 a.m. to anxious shoppers just hours after christmas. according to deal news, you'll get the best bang for your buck on clothing, brand new hdtvs and holiday treats and decor. >> the discounts will definitely be deep this week. but what you're getting are leftovers. you can guarantee you'll see some 70%, 75% off discounts on wrapping paper and christmas tree trinkets. >> reporter: the sales aren't
just in stores. they're online, too. >> we're doing a lot of amazon.com, online shopping. >> reporter: retailers like amazon.com, old navy and saks fifth avenue are amping up their day-after christmas sales in hopes of cashing in on holiday cheer. >> the week after christmas can account for as much as 15% of what retailers see during the entire holiday season. if you add it all up, this final week is just as important for retailers as the week before is. >> reporter: experts say the 26th is also a big day for gift card purchases with target customers cashing in their stocking stuffers the most today. >> gift cards for seven years in a row now have been the most requested gift item. we're expecting gift cards to bring in $28 billion once they've all been redeemed. >> reporter: and for those of you who may be lugging around that sack of returns, some advice from "consumer reports." be sure to read the fine print
on your receipts for the exact return window. and to see if you can get an extension on holiday gifts. also, be on the lookout for restocking fees and keep in mind that some items, like video games and movies, can't be returned once you've opened them. so as you heard in the story, gift cards can make up a big portion. $26 billion for these stores, these retailers. also this week alone could couldn't the for 15% of sales. guys, you can tell that the stores will definitely be counting on you to come in and shop today. >> good to know. you know, you have to shop, you have to shop. i'm not much of a shopper. george, you say you have shopping to do. go and be good with it. >> it's a good thing to do. >> don't forget your friends in new york. i like that tie clip you have on. >> you have gift cards coming your way. >> just a suggestion. i like the tie clip you have on
today. edward snowden told people privacy matters and encouraged them to remind their leaders that, quote, asking is always cheaper than spying. foreign affairs reporter alisa labott has more for us. >> reporter: you saw snowden evolve from someone behind the scenes to a provocator. let's take a closer look to what he said in his christmas message. >> together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance and remind the government, if it want today's know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying. >> reporter: remember the famous book about big brother watching, chris? he says that's nothing compared to what's going on today, what
he's seen. not a very uplifting christmas message about the world we're living in, chris. >> privacy matters. you have the message and the messenger. this outlet that put out this message, they have a tradition of doing this. what did they say their reasoning was for putting snowden out right now. >> it's also an alternative figure that puts out this message. channel 4 said snowden's decision to reveal the nsa programs was one of the most significant stories of the year, saying it raises serious questions for democratic society and gives the public a chance to hear from him directly and judge for themselves what he has to say about what he did. >> alisa labott, thank you very much. appreciate the reporting. happy holidays. let's get to pamela brown now in for michaela. making news on this thursday, the u.s. is reportedly sending military equipment,
including droughing drones and into iraq. "the new york times" saying the obama administration is responding to urgent requests from the government there but so far is not operating any armed u.s. drones over iraq. meantime, the leaders of kenya and ethiopia are in south sudan trying to mediate some semblance of peace there, fighting between government forces and rebel groups hasn't let up as the country edges closer to a full-fledged civil war. the government says hundreds of people at least have died. u.n. officials say tens of thousands have sought refuge at peacekeeping compounds across the country. and over in turkey, protesters are marching in the country's major cities and clashing with police. demanding the prime minister step down. three senior ministers resigned on wednesday and several more were replaced. one claims turkey's minister
knew about corruption involving the construction industry. he calls the scandal an international conspiracy against him. the suspect accused of gunning down a tsa officer at los angeles international airport is set to be arraigned today. paul ciancia faces 11 felony counts including murder in the november shooting. he's accused of killing gerardo hernandez and wounding three others. beyonce made this a holiday season to remember for a young girl who's battling cancer. this little girt right here has an inoperable brain tumor and asked the make a wish foundation if she could dance with beyonce. a few days ago it happened. beyonce swooped down and the two shared an embrace before they performed a rendition of "love on top" together. beyonce sang "survivor" to her. >> breaks your heart that we have to talk about these make a
wishes. >> it's nice to see people in beyonce's position to use their power in a positive way to make a meaningful difference. >> amazing organization. it really does, for so many families very often the patients wind up enduring and even if it's not a terminal illness, they wind up enduringing because of this momentum. coming up next on "new day," retailers are pulling out all the stops to try and draw customers in for post-holiday sales. so where are the best deals and what should you be looking out for as we head into the end of the year? we bring in the experts to help when we come back. if you think traveling by plane has gotten even less comfortable? you'd be right. we'll tell you the many ways airlines are packing more of us in. [ male announcer ] every inch. every minute. every second -- we chip away. with an available ecodiesel engine...
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♪ only got $20 in my pocket >> and less now that christmas just came and went. welcome back to "new day." yesterday many of you opened your presents, now you're figuring out what stays and what goes back. the temptation of after-christmas sales are calling us all. but is it really the best day to go out and get the deals? we'll talk this threw with a consumer spending analyst for hp retailer advisory. this is a heavy burden on you. people need to know, they're waking up now, drinking their coffee, getting ready to go. is the day today? >> yes. i can't tell you how many e-mails and facebook messages i've been getting.
today i tell people -- today isn't the day. according to the national retail federation, the big takeaway number is 264 billion, that's how much retailers lost in returned merchandise last year. >> 264 billion? >> billion. >> they're expected for that to be even more this year. so basically what people are returning the most of, toys, clothes, jewelry is the last on the list, jewelry and watches. if you want to get that merchandise, return that merchandise, i'm telling people to just wait a couple days. because a lot of that needs to get restocked and a lot of the retailers will discount it even more as we get closer to the new year. >> what do you think of return policies? as i've been looking around this year, it seems like they've gotten even more lien yen with the -- lenient with return policies. >> retailers wanted people to go into their stores before christmas. people thought if they had and were dealing with a lenient
return policy they were more willing to buy at that moment. so now it's going to get even easier for people to return. but that's to the cost of the retailer. as a consumer, we're doing really well. lenient return policies, able to get great discounts. as a retailer they're dealing with potentially losing out on that revenue because their policies. >> reporter: so lenient. >> it seems like the customers have had the edge this shopping season in general. right? >> absolutely. we were also talking about the discounts they were getting earlier. some of the discounts people were getting prior to christmas was up to 70% off. now that the holiday is over, expect to see those same discounts, 70%, to 75%, 80% off. >> the last thing retailers want to see are full stocked shelves. according to paypal, a lost people went online, 53% did most of their shopping online. these brick and mortar stores, the last thing they want to see
are stocked shelves. once they start seeing that, they go into panic mode and start discounting even deeper. >> depends what the margins are, what the goods are. they usually wind up making money. the reason there are so many steep discounts is because demand is so low. >> exactly. >> when you buy returned merchandise, you don't know that it's returned merchandise, right? >> no. that's what's interesting. especially because a lot of these stores charge a restocking fee. if you are returning merchandise, a lot of the electronics stores. >> something that kate tried on, brought back. people don't know that. she's putting on a t-shirt, i'm buying it, i think it's fine. >> exactly. >> it's not fine. >> stop giving people such a window. >> can you get more of a discount? can you ask and say was this restock? is there any way to know? >> that's a good point as well. we were talking about negotiating before.
and a lot of people have been going into stores and asking for lower prices on items, bigger discounts. if you're seeing an item that's been restocked or if you ask that it's been restocked, sure, why not ask for a deeper discount on that. the main mission is to get the merchandise out of the store. >> wait a little bit. the returning is going on right now. that stuff will have to be more deeply discounted. >> if you can wait five or six days. >> closer to new years? >> yes. >> i have to buy a new round of gifts to make up for what i just said to kate. i can tell you right now, it ain't going away. >> i love ya. thank you so much. i'm going to get more gifts. just made my day. >> great to have you here. coming up next on "new day," talking of christmas and christmas gifts, a christmas gift for people who have had trouble signing up for obamacare on the internet. some more time they'll be getting as their christmas gift. is that enough to help turn around public opinion of the health care overhaul.
>> my stomach just dropped out when i read the tweet that justin bieber was retiring. >> you lost sleep last night. >> i'm not really sure now. so this morning, should we believe him? and we will take on this question, because if he leaves music, i don't know what i'm going to do. >> the world will not be the same. >> i don't know who i am without him. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd. ♪ [ male announcer ] the parking lot helps by letting us know who's coming. the carts keep everyone on the right track. the power tools introduce themselves. all the bits and bulbs keep themselves stocked. and the doors even handle the checkout so we can work on that thing that's stuck in the thing. [ female announcer ] today, cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everyone goes home happy.
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making news, a new video message from an american being held captive by al qaeda. warren weinstein was kidnapped in pakistan more than two years ago, working for the agency for international development. he says he feels aban doned and wants the president and secretary of state to help bring him home. weinstein says his captors will let him see his family and some prisoners are released. u.p.s. and fedex getting fileted on social media over delivery delays. thousands of packages didn't reach destinations by christmas because of bad weather an a surge in demand, making social media complaints explode. the company's promise, they with working through the backlog. the family of the california teenager declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy might move her to another hospital where she can stay on life support. officials at oakland's children's hospital declared 13-year-old jahi mcmath brain dead earlier this month. her family says she is still
alive and will recover. that's what they believe. a legal order for the hpt to continue jahi's care expires on monday. a dramatic rescue on a major laelgs freeway and it was all caught on camera. take a look. the driver of this car was trapped after a crash. the car burst into flames. that's when an lapd bomb squad officer and two good samaritans stepped in to help. pulling the man out and saving his life as the car was on fire. the officer says it was just a matter of seconds. the driver is in the hospital right now but still doing okay with just some minor injuries, we're told. and it was a very merry christmas for an upstate new york man with downs syndrome. he can thank people across the country for that. elliott sherback told his mother all he wanted this year was cards to lift spirits. what does mom do? she gets friends and family to post the request on facebook. the message took off. by christmas morning, more than 1,800 cards arrived. at least one from almost every
state. >> love it. love it. >> love it, too. >> love it, people taking the time to reach out to others. >> good stuff, right, chris? >> that is good stuff. >> glad it qualifies. >> it does. not easy. can't just throw around the good stuff. it's a high bar. >> unfortunately we have a lot of them. lots of good stories out there. this is not a good story, folks. our political gut check of the morning. >> a new cnn/orc poll out this morning confirms this is the worst congress ever, period. we are going to talk about added time to sign up for obamacare and why. ron, how are you? >> good morning. happy holidays. i'm good. >> happy holidays. i'm good. i feel like you and i were talking about this when i was in washington covering the government shutdown. the numbers confirm this may be the worst congress ever. here's the headline. 63%. no, wrong number.
67% say yes, this is the worst congress of your lifetime. it's not a surprise to folks who have been watching washington work over the past year but is washington getting the message? >> it's really interesting question. i think congress realizes, they realize they are not the bell of the ball. but, there's the but, most members worry about how they are perceived in their own district and how the institution is perceived overall. and the vast majority of them feel as they they are reflecting the politics of their districts in the positions they take and thus are in a pretty safe position. problem is when you have a country that's divided and as polarized as we are, it adds up to dysfunction which is what we see in the poll. >> also look at the breakdown, they're blaming both sides. what do you think this means for midterms? this is some kind of odd leveling of the playing field? everyone's going into the midterms looking just as poor? >> by the way, in rm its of
blaming both sides, what's interesting is you may have democrats -- simultaneously in your poll democrats saying this is the worst congress ever because they are blocking so much of what president obama wants to do and republicans saying it's the worst congress ever because they're not repealing more of what president obama wants to do, particularly the health care law. historically, attitudes about the president have shaped midterms more than attitudes about congress overall. that's a troubling indication for democrats. as you noted, president obama's numbers are low in this poll as well. the question is whether with congress this low that changes that historic pattern. there's some reason, some precedent here. in 2012, again, that presidential approval had an enormous effect on all of the senate races. the three big exceptions were three democratic senators, senate candidates in red states won where in states where obama was unpopular. maybe things are changing but historically it has been the view of the president that has shaped the midterm more than the
view of congress than an institution. >> when you talk about what's going to shape the dialogue going into the midterms, obvi s obviously top of the list will be obamacare. should probably be jobs but they'll be joined at the hip. what do you see in terms of how this dialogue may evolve between now and let's say the summer stretch? >> yes. well, look, the short term political prognosis for the obama health care plan is not good in public opinion. the numbers have been getting worse. there's a stark racial divide. the white middle class is much more likely to believe they are going to benefit from this and that is a problem in the midterm because the midterm electorate is older and whiter than the presidential electorate when more minorities and young people vote. you throw in, chris, you look at the states that are going to be at the center of this in 2014 and the senate in particular, arkansas, alaska, west virginia, south dakota, there are states where that new democratic coalition just isn't as present. i think it will be tough.
the short term is tough. the longer term play, can they build a constituency by signing up enough people that will make it tough to repeal regardless of what happens. >> chris made a good point earlier when we talked about the latest headline, the accommodation that the administration has made, if people had trouble signing up, they'll be able to speak someone and be given an accommodation to extend that a little bit. is that opening up themselves for more criticism or is this just what they need to do? >> look, it feels to everyone that they are improvising almost day to day. they're improvising as chris was suggesting there with a clear goal. the short-term politics are not good. the long-term question is whether he can build a constituency for this, both people benefitting from it but also in the medical community, hospitals, doctors, insurers, drug companies that will build a mote around it that it can survive after 2016, even if
republicans win the house, the senate and the presidency and want to repeal it. on that front, name of the game is signing people up, they are seeing better news there. they're not meeting the goals they had set but when you start talking about 2 million potentially on the private exchanges, as that number grows, plus the medicaid number, it becomes tougher in practice to envision taking that away. what is the number above which it becomes impractical to take it away? we don't know that. they want to push that as far as they can in terms of signing people up while he still has three years to do it. >> thank you, ron. >> thank you. health care is a mess. >> already. >> that's the thing. i believe that's a big crime for the democrats, they've allowed this to be designed as the failure of obamacare when the system is being ignored as to the fixes we need. >> is the fix worse than the problem? that's what they're playing with now. >> the politics of it is really starting to confuse the real issue. >> all around. >> that's why we'll try to cover it the right way, get to the
real issues and not let the politics make everything cloudy for everyone except the people in d.c. coming up, could flying coach get any worse? it's already being called roach class and cattle class. the answer is yes? how? more people, smaller seats, fewer flights. that's the reality. we'll tell you why when we come back. hold on to your pants, folks. is justin bieber done? the singer saying he's going to retire. after all the mixed messages is he for real? [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses.
welcome back to "new day." easy for me to say. let's get over to chad myers in for indra petersons for another check of today's forecast. it's cold? where? >> it's chilly across parts of chicago and detroit. chicago it feels like 1 degree with the wind chill factor. the whole story is we have another small system coming on by, beginning to drop an inch or two. 4 inches around buffalo, watertown. the biggest weathermaker is not even in our country. it's in europe. i'll get to that in a second. there goes the low that's going to make its way into upstate new york. if you're skiing in whistler, a lot going on today. high today, memphis 49, atlanta 54 and all the way to new orleans. if you haven't heard about this, the uk, scotland, ireland, just got chakd by a storm on christmas eve. this was the lowest pressure recorded in the uk since the
1800s. if you're flying or expecting someone from the uk, 53 miles per hour later on this afternoon in london, 58 in dublin. the wind continues. this pressure is equal to a category 2 hurricane. that's how big the winds are. that's just planes that look big. they're not really that big. they're flying from the uk. chris? >> thanks, chad, appreciate it. speaking of flying, if you did take a flight this holiday season, notice that people seem to be closer to you. you weren't imagining anything. it's true. they were closer. why? airlines are making seats smaller and smaller. meanwhile, passengers are getting less and less patient. the airlines are calling on new laws to deal with unruly passengers, could there be a connection? of course there could. let's discuss it and bring in tom parsons, editors of bestfares.com.
happy holidays, thanks for being with us. appreciate it. first question is, is it true, are the seats actually physically getting smaller? are more of us being put into coach? >> i think when you go over the last 30 years, there might be a 1 inch difference in the width of the seat. where we've seen the big loss is the leg room. 34 inches used to be the common. today it's 31 inches. there are some airlines that have pushed it to 28 inches. that's like putting your knees in your chin while flying and as a matter of fact, some don't even have the little buttons on the side so you can lean back a quarter inch, that's how tight they are. the airlines, what we've learned since 2008 is the airlines love something called fees. in the back of the airplane, they're making the seats tighter and tighter, giving us less room, the seat is about the same. if you want more leg room or the
emergency row we used to get for free, they're charging a premium, 19, 39, 49, $69 to upgrade to more leg room type flight. that gives you more options and they make more money off of you. >> they're doing this to get more seats in there and that's leading to the other problems, obviously. whether there's a connection or not, it does create a different environment on planes these days. they're not as friendly a place, not as comfortable. you're having more and more reports of unruly passengers. now they're asking for new rules what do you think may come into effect here? >> well, you know, we have to look at the fact i think the public today, we're -- we used to be a -- i know when i used to travel, my first flight was probably in the early 60s, you know, my mom and everybody else -- everybody was dressed in sports coats and suits and ties
and everything like that. now we've got to worry if the clothing you're wearing is too skimpy. i think we voice our opinions, we're more frustrated, more things to deal with, flight delays, cancellations, tsa and when we get on an airplane and somebody is trying to move their seat up or backwards and they keep poking you, we complain more than we used to. i think today we complain more. i will give you one insider travel secret. in new york right now, delta, which is probably a big airline, they're running first class specials through may 28th. if you want six extra inches of leg room, two or three more inches of butt room, three checked bags for free, they'll fly you from new york to tampa
and most cities east of the rockies, that fare is only 399 nonstop, first class. >> really? >> i would say if i had to pay $39 to get three or four extra inches of leg room or i can get a big wider seat for my butt and more leg room and maybe even get a meal for free and three checked bags and my cocktail, i'm a happy camper for $399. >> as long as my kids aren't sitting around you, tom. then there's not enough booze in the world to keep you safe. appreciate the tips. great to have you on the show. >> thank you. coming up next on "new day," 99% success rate isn't good enough for shipping companies at holiday time. u.p.s. feeling the wrath from customers who did not get their gifts in time for christmas. why the slowdown and what are they doing about it now. also ahead, the biebs hinting at retirement.
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we have to talk to you about the justin bieber situation, but i can't do it from this position. i'm afraid i may faint because i am that crestfallen. i say let's take it to the couch. ready? >> let's do it. >> it's the most fun you'll have getting healthy. >> imagine that, guys. >> go to upwave.com and see how others have found an inspired life. to find out more visit
upwave.com encouraged by air optics.com. nice to meet you. >> justin bieber, you hear the music, stirs all kinds of feelings. he is stirring controversy once again just as his new album is set to release and his documentary hits theaters. he drops a christmas bombshell by tweeting the following, my beloved believers, i'm officially retiring. he quickly backtracked on twitter. this is the second time in a week that he has hinted at his retirement. what is going on? carlos greer is here to help us. >> hi. how's it going? >> he blames the media a little bit. he says, i'm here forever. this blew up online as much as we will make light of it.
is this real or is this a publicity stunt? >> you know what, like he says, he has an album he has to promote and a documentary. not only that, he has a fragrance he's promoting, too. justin bieber is his own empire. something tells me he's not really retiring. maybe he was telling his fans he was retiring for the night, who knows. >> i'm going to sleep. >> exactly. he shares everything with his fans on twitter. he has like, what, 48 million fangs. not only that, a lot of people rely on justin bieber for their livelihood so i doubt he's retiring. >> you hit on a really good point that i find interesting. it is astonishing to understand his reach on social media. he revolutionized that star/fan relationship. he has over 48 million twitter followers. he's kind of unfill theertered part of it. >> the twitter machines, we saw that with beyonce's release. it's very much a part of their publicity. again, he has an album that's
coming out. he's not the first pop star to announce his retirement. justin bieber is 19 years old. >> that's a big point. i think it gets ignored. once you're a star, you're a star. being 19 years old that's obviously got to be part of the calculation here for why he seems erratic, right? don't we think that? >> exactly. life is difficult for any teenager. it's a very confusing time, and then you factor in the fact that he is this pop star living his life in the public. everyone scrutinizes every single move that he makes and the fact that he's so candid and so open on twitter, he lives his life on social media. he doesn't really have a loot of time to slow down. >> i remember one of the first stories that we talked about on the show when it launched was justin bieber losing his monkey in germany. we cover every single one of his moves. >> what would we do if he retired? what would we talk about? >> he likes to keep us talking. i do believe that. the fact that he announced this
on twitter and backtracked, we heard that he initially joked. >> how stable is he? what's the inside scoop? >> he's 19 years old. who knows how stable. >> we see too much, too many hard lessons learned. >> he's had a rough year. he's had run-ins with the law, with his fans reportedly hooking up with, you know, prostitutes in brazil. so it hasn't been an easy year for justin bieber. >> do you think it would be good if he did take some time off? >> i think he is someone who needs to take some time off. he started out when he was 14 or 15 years old. he hasn't slowed down since. again, he's a mega star in a huge empire. he has fragrances, documentaries, albums. justin bieber could take time off. >> take it off from what though? a lot of these things happen when he is off. he's living his life. >> exactly. >> but you know what, even then he's not living his life. he's been on tour this entire year. >> carlos, you see it in a different way. miley cyrus, you have one kind of example of the transition
from childhood star to adult star. she kind of ripped that band aid off and she's now saying, this is who i am today. i'm not hannah montana anymore. is this his way of doing it saying i'm retiring, i'm going to take some time off i'm going from being little justin bieber, i'm going to find my adult voice. >> this album has a completely different tone too. the difference between miley cyrus and justin bieber is he grew up in this business. justin bieber became a part of it. at 15, very young. her family isn't entertaining. >> they're genius. try to see what's going on with miley cyrus. >> everybody was upset here banning her. i was laughing at her saying she is making herself bigger than her music ever would. >> this kids, really talented.
she's a sweet kid. i wish her all the best. this kid can sing. >> it's a marketing factor. miley cyrus, the difference between her and justin bieber is she really knows what she's doing when it comes to her marketing. i don't think anyone is really that concerned. >> she seems in control most of the time while miley seems out of control. >> at times, yes. >> we'll find out. thanks so much, carlos. >> thank you. >> reminder, the "people" year end issue is on news stands today. take a break here on "new day" so i can compose myself. what went wrong at fedex and u.p.s. how two of santa's biggest helpers let people down. plus, a dramatic rescue on a california freeway as a car goes up in flames. we're going to hear from a police officer who risked his own life to save a driver with just seconds to spare. ♪
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i am, therefore, appealing to you to work for my release. >> abandoned and forgotten. the desperate plae for another held by al qaeda. what he wants the president to do. worst congress ever. that's the verdict for most americans in a new cnn/orc poll. they are angry at what's happening in washington. >> a matter of seconds. a dramatic rescue on the l.a. freeway saves a man's life all caught on camera. your "netanyaw day" now
continues. >> it's terribly disappointsing. >> when you take this beard off, what are you going to say? >> probably just bawl our eyes out. >> this is "new day." good morning, welcome back to "new day." thursday, december 26th, 8:00 in the east. an american detained by al qaeda is making a fresh push for the president to help secure his release. warren weinstein was kidnapped in august 2011 working as a contractor in pakistan. well, now he says he feels forgotten and his health is starting to deteriorate and it shows. hoping to see his family again. he says his captors have a proposal on the table and wants american officials to take it seriously. let's get over to cnn's pentagon official barbara starr with much
more on this. good morning, barbara. >> reporter: kate, good morning. this video made by 72-year-old warren weinstein certainly is the latest proof of life video. good news for his family at least to see him, but he looks to be in pretty rough shape. he says he feels abandoned and forgotten. he makes a plea for assistance to get him out of there. this is a man who clearly feels the mark of time. have a listen. >> i'm also appealing to you as someone who has served his country who now needs his country to help him. i hope and i pray to god that you as leader of the united states along with your administration will feel an adequate level of responsibility toward me to work for my release. >> so he makes this direct appeal to president obama. secretary of state john kerry, the american public, to do something to get him out of
there. he was essentially kidnapped in august of 2011 from his home in pakistan when militants broke in, overpowered his security guards and took him. later the head of al qaeda claimed responsibility for this kidnapping and al qaeda claims to hold him. they have said what they want in return for his release is a release of al qaeda prisoners. the u.s., of course, maintains its position. it doesn't negotiate. kate? >> barbara, as we've been talking about, you can clearly see the change in his appearance from the other photos and video that we have of him. what does he say about his current physical state? because there's a really remarkable deterioration it looks like. >> reporter: there certainly is. it's heartbreaking to look like. on this thirteenth 13-minute video he talks about that. he says he's suffering from acute problems, acute asthma, heart disease, that he has a heart condition, and he says he's suffering from massive anxiety from being separated from his family, not knowing
what has happened to them, and not knowing what will happen to him. he, you know, obviously this is a man who wants his freedom and he is making another desperate plea for it. kate? >> he is. thank you so much, barbara, for that update. we'll follow. we have new poll numbers for you this morning, but the sentiment isn't really that new. it's a new cnn/orc poll. this is the worst congress ever. dana bash is here with the numbers and the reaction from some miffed lawmakers. >> reporter: thanks, guys. 2013 has been congress's least productive year in modern history. lawmakers get that. they hear complaints from constituents all the time. believe it or not, there are some in the middle actually trying to make it bigger. >> they just wrapped up their first year in the senate. their take on the institution is telling. >> it's still pretty bad that we haven't been able to get more done. >> the more cooperation we can get, the better off we'll be.
>> reporter: a new cnn/orc poll shows 67%, 2/3 of the country says this is the worst congress. 74% have lived a long life. they're 50 and older. 73% say congress has done nothing to address the country's problems. >> the publica pro approval of congress is still pretty low. does that surprise you? >> no, because what they see every day on television is deadlock, fights and screaming. what you don't see every day is large groups of both democrats and republicans coming together saying how can we work through this process. >> reporter: one thing that is bipartisan is the blame. the public doesn't trust either party. 52% say policies of democratic congressional leaders will move the country in a wrong direction. republican leaders fair only slightly worse, 54% saying the gop will move the country in the wrong direction. moderate republican susan collins spent the session
organizing bipartisan concession. she wants americans to have hope for 2014. >> you hope that the american people will realize that there are some of us trying to build bridges and bring people together and solve problems. >> reporter: congress did leave for the year on a higher note than when it started passing a bipartisan budget through the house and the senate. several senators told me that they had people coming up to them all over the state thanking them for being reasonable. one told me at first he thought it was a nice compliment but then he realized that's a pretty lobar. chris and kate? >> dana, thank you so much. now up to new developments on the rollout of obamacare. people who couldn't meet the deadline are being offered a bit of a christmas gift, more time. the obama administration saying many may still be able to get coverage that starts january 1st. let's get the latest from athena jones who's live in honolulu where the president is vacationing. good morning, athena. >> reporter: good morning, kate. there's been some confusion about this accommodation the administration is offering to people.
this is their attempt to calm the fears of folks who were trying to sign up, scrambling to signup to get on healthcare.gov to meet that deadline, tuesday night's midnight deadline for coverage starting january 1st because of the heavy traffic officials pointed to record numbers on healthcare.gov on monday, you could have electronic waits in line on that site. also long waits on the telephone. they're saying as long as you made your best effort to start the enrollment process before that tuesday midnight deadline, they may be able to help you get coverage starting january 1st. may is, of course, a key word there. it's not a new deadline, but if you talk to a customer service representative, as long as you started before the end. day on tuesday, you may be able to be helped by this. they're reminding folks even if you didn't meet that deadline on tuesday, if you start now you can still choose a plan, sign up for coverage in time to get coverage starting february 1st.
so it's a little bit of confusion, but of course confusion abounds when it comes to the obamacare and these deadlines. kate? >> that's a very good point. that struggle to get people signed up and increases for enrollment, that will continue. let's take a moment for the president taking part in a presidential christmas tradition. something that is important for him to take a moment to do and honor while in hawaii. tell us a little bit about that. >> reporter: that's right. the president is it staying in a rental home not far from a marine base. it's not uncommon for him to go to the base to work out or play golf, but each year in something that's become a christmas tradition, he goes and meets with troops there. this year it was 580 people, not just marines, some from the navy, the army, the air force, people stationed all across the island of oahu were invited. he and the first lady thanked the troops for their service. that's something he's gun every
christmas. >> athena, thank you so much joompt when it comes to christmas, turns out santa is a much better delivery system than u.p.s. and fedex combined. why? thousands of people missed out on their presents because gifts weren't delivered in time, period. nick is with us in atlanta. what do we know? >> reporter: chris, they could have used santa. thousands of you are still waiting at your front doors and looking out your window for the u.p.s. driver to deliver the gifts. the company is apologizing to scores of angry customers but they say it's not all their fault. u.p.s. trucks are back out in full force this morning trying to deliver packages that were supposed to be delivered by christmas morning. >> i waited around for hours and hours for it to show up and it never did. >> reporter: thousands of gifts not delivered on time waiting in u.p.s. warehouses to be shipped. u.p.s. says they've already delivered an estimated 132 million packages in the last
week alone. blaming the back log on an unprecedented surgeon online sales and bad weather. u.p.s. released a statement saying in part, the volume of their packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network immediately preceding christmas so some shipments were delayed but many are still unhappy. >> they're still blaming it on the ice storm which was 2 1/2 weeks ago. it's terribly disappointing because we ordered these things on december 1st. >> we got someone on the line after waiting an hour. they said it hasn't been processed yet. >> reporter: disappointed customers stormed the online support. still waiting for an answer along with my granddaughter's christmas gift. busy during december? who would have thought it #bunchofclowns. >> u.p.s. isn't the only company experiencing delays. fed ex shipment center in oregon.
>> meanwhile, u.p.s. says they expect the vast majority of packages to be delivered today. >> u.p.s. and fed ex not the only ones in trouble with their customers. online companies who rely he heavily on u.p.s.'s services, amazon.com says they'll give out gift cards to make up for their blunder. kate? >> nick, thank you so much. if you didn't finish your holiday shopping and you can't blame it on fedex or u.p.s., you may be in trouble with your family, but you may be in a little bit of luck at least when it comes to deelals. stores are hoping to clear shelves and boost sales from this shortened holiday term. >> reporter: kate, good morning. this is the week, really, where customers have the edge. stores are doing everything they can, offering discounts, 40, 50, 60% off all to get you in the
doors. just when you thought the holiday shopping frenzy was over, the after-christmas sales are on, and this year it's expected to be bigger than ever. some stores like walmart and kohl's opened their doors as early as 5:00 a.m. to anxious shoppers just hours after christmas. according to deal news, you'll get the best bang for your buck on clothing, brand-name hdtvs and holiday treats and decor. >> discounts will definitely be deep this week, but what you're getting are leftovers. you can guarantee that you'll see some 70, 75% offer discounts on wrapping paper and christmas tree trinkets. >> reporter: the sales aren't just in stores, they're online, too. >> we're doing a lot of amazon.com, a lot of online shopping. >> reporter: retailers like amazon.com, old navy and saks fifth avenue are amping up their
day after christmas sales. >> the week after christmas can account for as much as 15% of what retailers see throughout the entire holiday season so if you add it all up, this final week is just as important for retailers as the week before is. >> reporter: experts say the 26th is also a big day for gift card purchases. with target customers cashing in their stocking stuffers the most today. >> gift cards for seven years in a row now have been the most requested gift item. we're actually expecting gift cards to bring in about $28 billion once they've all been redeemed. >> reporter: and for those of you who may be lugging around that sack of returns, some advice from "consumer reports", be sure to read the fine print on your receipt for the exact return window and to see if you can get an extension on holiday gifts. also, be on the lookout for restocking fees and keep in mind that some items, like video games and movies, can't be
returned once you've opened them. so maybe you got something that you don't quite like and you want to return it or maybe you have a gift card that you want to cash in. whatever the case, when you go out into the stores, this week, later in the week, that's when you can expect the better deals as stores do what they can to get that merchandise off the shelves. >> all right, george. >> i was going to say, they can start handing it out. i'm available. >> that's right. free always goes first. >> that's what i'm saying. thanks, george. let's get to pamela brown in for mckayla has the top stories. >> i'm available as well. >> exactly. making news on this thursday morning, hundreds of thousands still without power this thursday morning days after an ice storm hit michigan up to maine. the problem, cold temperatures leaving ice on power lines and making it touch for crews to get electricity turned back on. crews work through christmas and hope to make progress by this weekend. more bluster from north
korean leader kim jong-un. he says a war could begin without prior notice. there's no note that confrontation is on the rise with south korea. relations have been frosty. egypt's backed military government cracking down on the government labelling it a terrorist government. the move hardens the deep divide between the two sides ahead of a referendum on a new constitution next month. the u.s. state department is encouraging dialogue and political participation across the political spectrum. did hackers get more than just credit card numbers when they stole information from target? reuters says the hackers also took card personal identification numbers, the pins that help protect people from fraud. target denies that saying it has no reason to believe any pins were stolen. got to love this story.
a new jersey mother got the best christmas gift she could ever ask for. leslie went up to get a gift from santa. she got a card from her son serving in afghanistan. once the tears started flowing, watch, there he is ditching the white beard and all is travis himself. he wasn't supposed to come home until march but he got permission to -- oh, my gosh. there we go. he got permission to come home early. don't you love that? >> she's reading the letter from the card before she knew he was standing right behind him. >> my god, that was unbelievable. >> one of my kids said to me, we do a lot of these. she said, why is she so sad? she hasn't seen him. they don't know what's going on. not just the time, it's the uncertainty. you saw a quick look. that's why it's so powerful. just the card meant everything to her, let alone to know that he's here.
>> right behind. >> because to her he's still a baby, this giant man. >> giant man behind her. that's so sweet. >> wonderful. >> they all work. they all work. at the end of the day they're so desperate to know they're okay. >> great stuff, pam. little check of the weather. chad everett myers. >> people trying to get around the country today, a little bit of snow in the northeast. light snow for effect in new york city. we have 2800 planes already in the sky. the other good news is the planes aren't that big so that's why you can still see the sunshine, otherwise we would have no global warming because you'd never see the sun. exit 4, southern tier expressway, 81, binghamton. that's what it looks like right now with that light snow coming down. it will be light. this is not a big weather event with the light snow putting down an inch or two. silver city, 16 inches of snow overnight. there you go. one to two inches from syracuse, buffalo. the southern tier of buffalo, picking up two to three inches.
chicago, probably detroit, deiegsing. raleigh. we have freezing rain in the paid month this morning and southern california very gusty winds. there's what we have for the rest of the day. airports doing fairly well. the only one airport delay right now, one in the country, it's aspen because there are so many planes trying to get to aspen this morning that they have 15 to 30-minute delays. how about that? >> i'm going to say this. i say it for everyone here. we do not feel bad for you if you're being delayed on your flight into aspen. you'll get there while we're working. thanks. >> marinade on that as you go to the break. nice transition from that sentiment to pope francis. he was celebrating his first christmas at the vatican. what did he do to make it his own? coming up, we'll give you a little taste of his message. >> something i need to hear. also ahead on "new day." a race against time as a car bursts into flames with the
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merry christmas again to you. it's great to have you with us, father. >> thanks. >> this was different. this is about formality. there isn't as much extemporizing. what did you see in pope francis in terms of how he balanced the duties of the day with being singular to himself? >> it's not surprising that on a day when christians celebrate the prince of peace that he addresses peace which he did. the only time he went off script was when he included atheists. he said nonbelievers. some say he also meant those who don't believe in christ, other religious faiths, not just atheis atheists. it's a man who used that small moment to reach out to somebody in a way that is unique. remember, yesterday, you reported on it. we had two bombings in baghdad targeting christians, catholic church, christian neighborhood. this morning two hours ago, by the way, the update is he stood on the balcony at st. pete terse
and gave him angelist. today is the feast of saint steven, the martyr. christians are being martyred. over and over again he's addressing this as a primary issue. >> i want to talk about the nonbeliever comment because some don't follow the christmas message, don't follow the pope so closely. it's not going off script. he goes off script for one moment, that's not a big deal, but it is significant because it speaks to his style and the francis effect as we've talked about in the past. how significant is it? >> kate, remember, a few months ago he gave an interview to an italian journalist who said it was an agnostic and the journalist said to pope francis during the interview, so what about me? what about people like me who don't believe like you do? francis said, you know what, if it's according to your conscious, you need to follow it. i bless you in believing what you believe if it's according to your conscience. people don't know that, but that
is catholic teaching. vatican 2 says you need to act in accordance with your conscience. if it's against yours religion, that's fine. >> the more we study with this man, pope francis, is his nonjudgmental nature. people don't expect it from the church. they don't like it from the church. it stands in stark contrast here locally with what we're seeing from the evangelists. they're very hash, judgmental, right, wrong, good, bad, let's focus on that. he is a refreshing change to that. whether it leads to any changes within his own church, we don't know, but the message alone i think is what's great. >> i think it may lead to some changes within the church? >> howe? >> positions are what they are. we've heard it all the time. >> he's said with women, more than tokenism, i don't want altar girls, i want women in decision-making positions in this church and he's going to make sure it happens he says. women are very heartened by that. he's reached out to divorce and
remarried people who are struggling because they can't receive communion if they don't have an annulment. he wants to meet with the bishops in october and he wants to look at is there a way we can reach out to those who are alienated, not able to receive communion. married priests are another issue. celibacy probably isn't going to change in the catholic church. the line in that interview is it can change. 230r9 first 1,000 years priests were married in the catholic church. we have people now, priests, in the catholic church with wives and families ministering to celebate priests. >> because they transferred in? >> how do you think the celebate priest can't preach but it's working. it can change. that gives hope. that one line gives hope for many people. >> we've seen him re-energize the faithful. obviously one of his jobs is to
bring younger people to the church. we saw a huge crowd, 150,000. obviously a reflection of his popularity. are we seeing attendance boosted because of his popularity? >> i've certainly seen it. i helped out in two places, in mid town and in westchester. numbers are definitely up. people have come up to me after mass. i said, i don't recognize you. i haven't seen you before. pope francis, i'm here because of this pope francis. >> he's being humble. it's the beck effect. >> it's the eyes. the splendid white hair. >> getting embarrassed. >> can't get out of it. >> merry christmas. >> you're so cute. >> thanks, father. >> thank you. >> that's why i need faith, because i'm flawed. >> you are a flawed man. >> it's shocking because father still wants to be chris's friend after all of this. >> go figure. >> he's drawn to people like me. >> exactly. must heal, must help. coming up next on "new day,"
they're calling it a christ mast miracle. people in the right place at the right time. a driver of the car. you can't see the car because it's in the middle of a fiery crash on the freeway and risking their own lives in the process. plus, an amazing christmas present for the victim of a boston bombing. she's standing on her own two feet for the first time since that terrible day back in april. details you want to hear. ♪ maybe i'm wrong ♪ ♪ and nobody ever says goodbye ♪ ♪ every weekend worked, every idea sold...
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things you need to know. >> good morning, everyone. a kidnapped american is making a plea to president obama to get him home. warren weinstein says his health is failing and he feels forgotten. he was abducted in pakistan two years ago. u.p.s. and fedex delivering a whole lot of disappointment this holiday. thousands of packages didn't reach their destinations by christmas because of bad weather and a surge in demand. the companies are apologizing. power still out in parts of michigan, maine, and vermont after this week's ice storm in those places. some people might be in the dark until this weekend. overall, the weather is expected to be fine for most travelers heading home today. and holiday discounts at the stores were big, but the after christmas sales may be even better. retailers are hoping big discounts will bring shoppers in to help make up for a slower and shortened christmas shopping season. looks like mcdonald's has taken down its controversial
employee website. the one that encouraged workers to skip fast food and get a second job. the site is being re-evaluated because it got so much unwarranted publica tension. of course, we're always updating the five things to know so go to newdaycnn.com for the very latest. >> pamela, thank you very much. the video is dramatic to say the very least. one look at this fiery crash shows you that rescuing the driver was nothing short of heroic and really the definition of a christmas miracle. cnn's miguel marquez has more on this crash and the good samaritans who saved the day. >> this is a pretty extraordinary story. >> yes. >> absolutely amazing that this guy survived. this is a miracle of coincidences. the right people, the right place, the right time. >> reporter: hard to tell, but that is a black mercedes. it lost control on a major freeway in los angeles. harder to believe, the man who was driving survived. >> it was just a matter of seconds. another 10, 15 seconds, there
just would have been too much fire. >> reporter: seconds to rescue the 72-year-old man whose car burst into flames after smashing into the center divider. >> i reached in there, fumbled and thank goodness i found the button, popped the belt and grabbed him and pulled him out. >> adding to the miracle, don thompson, a 26 year veteran of the lapd bomb squad happened to be on his way to work. his shift started early. diving into the flames pulling the driver to safety. >> i have singed hair here, some first degree on the side. >> thompson did have help. miracles sometimes need company. a los angeles firefighter happened to be driving by making the rescue seamless. >> to be able to help to immediate patient assessment, get other resources on scene a lot quicker because he happened to be the commander of the dispatch center i called him directly to do so. >> a horrible accident and an impromptu act of heroism. >> it makes me feel good to know
that i saved a life. >> reporter: understatement from a veteran cop, all in a day's work. >> i just -- i love how understated the guys are. i'm just happy i saved a guy's life. the guy goes to the hospital pain in his neck, pain in his back. that's all. 72 years old. it's amazing he survived. >> you pointed out, all in a day's work. that's the amazing thing we need to remember, this is just what they do. >> jumped into a flaming car on the way to work. >> yeah. >> to diffuse bombs. >> exactly. pretty impressive. >> thanks, miguel. coming up on "new day," did you know if you give a bad online review, you could be fined? neither did an online couple. neither did they. they're fighting back. we'll tell you how. a boston bombing victim miracle. just in time for christmas. we'll be right back. oad to your future. that's why we build tools like our career guidance system. it's kind of like gps, you know, for your career.
welcome back to "new day." let's get a check of your forecast. we have chad myers in for ingrid peterson. when i look at the map be, it looks like it's pretty cold, chad, right there. >> which is everywhere. >> everywhere. >> it's kind of cold everywhere. >> you can do the weather man move, there. >> thank you. >> 32, cincinnati. 31, new york city. snow coming into the city later on today. that's good news for my wife at least, she wants to see some snow. she's from atlanta, that doesn't ever get there. delaware, binghamton, syracuse going to pick up a bit. also into scranton and light snow into cleveland. you might get a slick spot or two, bridges, overpasses. those are the big thing today. we won't talk about the snow to shovel, we're talking snow, broom walk. there's the low moving up towards maine, up towards halifax. then a little bit of snow coming into winnipeg. happy boxing day to the u.k.,
winnipeg. 42 in kansas city. the biggest storm on the planet is moving into the u.k. right now. this is 11:00 tonight. planes will be taking off to the u.s. to get to the u.k. the wind in london will be 50. dublin, 57 miles per hour, not kilometers. into scotland, 62 miles per hour. that may slow down some airplanes trying to get to the u.k. or northern europe later on tonight. back to you guys. >> chad, thank you so much for that. now let's talk about what we've been talking about for weeks now. if you did any of your holiday shopping online, a utah couple is fighting back after being fined $3500 for posting just a negative review on a website called fair gear.com. they're suing arguing the couple didn't read the fine print. pamela brown is here with much more on this. >> yeah, this is quite a story. we first brought you this story about a month ago, and it really hit a nerve with our viewers who
were simply shocked to learn about this couple's story, many saying it's not fair to be fined for posting a negative review and should be illegal. now the couple at the center of the story is taking action saying it's pay back time. >> reporter: a utah couple find $3500 for writing a negative review of cleargear.com is suing the merchant for retaliating against them according to a lawsuit filed wednesday on the couple's behalf by public citizen. the battle began when john and jenn palmer bought a few christmas gifts from cleargear.com in 2008. they say the items never arrived and their calls went unanswered. finally the transaction was cancelled. jenn palmer complained online. she said, there is no way to get in touch with a physical human being. no extensions worked. then 3 1/2 years later they received this e-mail appearing to be from clear gear stating they'd be fined $3500 if the
negative review wasn't taken down in 72 hours. >> it's ridiculous that anybody would turn around and try to extort us like this, especially for doing something as simple as just posting a review online. >> reporter: but clear gear told the pal memers they signed away their rights forbidding them from taking any action that negatively impacts cleargear.com. they tried to take it down. cleargear reported the $3500 bill as unpaid to a collection's company. >> it was bad enough that when we went to get our second cars it took them a month to find a bank that was willing to finance us because of the huge ding that this puts on our credit. >> reporter: the palmers say they tried to reach out to settle this amicably but never heard back from the company. >> as jenn palmer's original review online noted, part of the problem with clear gear's customer service is they're
difficult to contact. >> reporter: thus, according to the palmers, leaving them no choice but to sue. they're asking the court to declare they never owed the $3500 and are seeking compensation to be determined by a jury. >> contract law isn't a game of surprise where businesses get to extort money based on terms that the customers didn't read in the fine print. >> reporter: now cnn did try reaching out to clear ger's phone numbers and an e-mail listed on their website but weigh haven't heard back after several attempts. cleargear.com did respond back in november to our affiliate kutv defending its action saying its request was not black mail but, quote, a diligent effort to help them avoid the fine. chris, i think it's safe to say the palmers have a pretty strong case here. >> yup. pamela, thanks for bringing us that. now, here's a good one for you. sometimes we throw phrases like christmas miracle around without really thinking about it, but
here's one that truly qualifies. why? i want to show you rebecca gregory. she's standing on two feet monday. this is the first time she's been able to do that since april 15th. remember that day? the boston marathon bombing. the bomb went off and left her with serious injuries to her legs. she needed 14 surgeries. was lucky her leg wasn't amputated. she calls putting both feet on the ground the most amazing feeling. her boyfriend was with her that day. he was also seriously hurt in the explosion. he is recovering and proposed to rebecca in october. how good is that? we just want to show you that there is progress and they are another example of boston strong. kate? >> 14 surgeries later. >> not done. >> still smiling. not done yet. thanks, chris, for that. coming up next on "new day." the year in picture. the moments that stole our hearts and images we couldn't turn away from. we'll look at some of the best
of 2013 next. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom.
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[knock] no one was at home, but on the kitchen table sat three insurance policies. the first had lots of coverage. the second, only a little. but the third was... just right! bear: hi! yeah, we love visitors. that's why we moved to a secluded house in the middle of the wilderness. just the right coverage at just the right price. coverage checker from progressive. the people's conflict and getting images, one of the most respected the photography agent cities in the world just
released their best images of the year. joining us to talk more about this is the co-founder of getting images, jonathan klein. great to see you again. >> good morning. >> good morning, good morning. how do you even begin to choose the best images coming from getty when you think of the tens of thousands of news events, entertainment events and sports events that you kpocover? >> it's a very tough task. i think the first thing we do is we decide what were the major events, and then within that can we finds an iconic image which represents that event better than any others? that's where it gets hard. what you want to do is you want to select an image which brings across all the different aspects of the event and put that in front of people. in some cases it won't be the world's greatest photo but it will be the photo which encapsulates the event. in other events it's another photo. >> let's run through a sampling. we'll put them up on the screen and talk about them.
one of the events, whether they admit it or not, they paid attention to is the birth of the royal baby. the duke and duchess of cambridge. this is when they're leaving the hospital for the first time, right? >> yes, absolutely. there was a long wait for this baby. in fact, there was a very long wait for the wedding given they had been together for so many years. >> that's true. >> as the press, we're used to waiting. they waited and waited. this photo is the classic coming out of the hospital photo. i assume there were at least 1,000 photographers and press, but our chris jackson, as ever, was in the perfect spot to get them looking great. kate looking at the camera. the baby putting his little finger up. i don't know if chris arranged this. i would be is he surprised. it is very much an iconic photo. it harkens back to when prince william came out of the hospital with diana 57ba and charles.
another photo, a very different event. no one in the united states will forget. this is the boston marathon bombing. this is an iconic photo. why did you choose this one? >> i think what's really special about this is it captures the moment, it was actually the second blast, and what you're seeing is a very elderly man. in fact, he's 78 years old. and he's approaching the finish having done many marathons, and that's when the explosion goes off. the police are moving extremely quickly. they're looking in different directions saying what is happening. there is a sense of panic but there's also a sense of security that the police are there. this elderly man, i understand, got up and continued just to get across the line because he was that close. >> that term boston strong comes from. amid the chaos, you see calm in action in those boston police officers. this is an image no one will forget any time soon. >> what happened, of course, boston's year was book marked by this at the beginning and then
the boston red sox, boston strong, winning the world series at home. >> let's talk about the next iconic image in the getty year. this is of pope francis. this is a pope that seems to -- that everyone seems to love. what is it about this image of him? >> there are a few things which really sprig out. he seems to be extremely warm, friendly, and charismatic. he's already being called the people's pope only a few months into his tenure. thy "time magazine" just this week or last week named him person of the year. he seems to be extremely authentic. the excitement and the joy of everyone around him. the close proximity. i wouldn't like to be his security. and what i, of course, love about him is everyone twoonwant take a foe to haphoto of him. he's a galvanizing personality. >> you see a bit of his humor in
this one. >> yeah. to remove the -- yeah. he seems to just have that common touch and it's very exciting shot by one of our guys who spends a lot of time in the vatican following the pope around. >> let's talk about this one. this will be our final photo that we're going to touch on. >> sure. >> this is the devastation following the tornado in moore, oklahoma. >> every year regrettably there are these horrible natural disasters. to capture the devastation is very difficult. you've probably covered a few of them so you know exactly what it's like to be there, but when you're just away from it and looking at numbers of people hurt, it's kind of meaningless. and a photo which shows a place just completely destroyed is very powerful. of course, the flag could not be in a better position from a composition perspective but, really -- >> you see the flag and you see clearly someone's kitchen in a space where everything else is completely devastated. >> absolutely nothing left. >> just some of the iconic photographs taken by getty
images this year. and it is great to see them on display. much more to see in this. jonathan klein, great to see you. >> thank you, kate. >> thank you so much. >> pleasure. boy, i'll tell you, that moore, oklahoma, that picture there. do we remember that? it would be nice to go back and show pictures of that place when it's all back and built up. let's take a break on "new day." you know how there's guys and girls, d.j.s, where their schtick is being loud, you're going to meet a d.j. by taking up the cause of a 90-year-old woman and what he did made him a bit of a good star. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ with two cats in the yard >> good song. let it play. reason for the season. we're supposed to be trying to do good things now. today's edition, denver radio d.j. willie b. take a listen. >> you know, man, i'm a big pay it forward guy. i'm just like anybody else, man. i live check to check 90% of the time. >> all right. i love his voice already. now here's willie's story. he recently put up a question on his facebook page. what would you do if money were no object? he got the usual responses, get a car, go on vacation. there was one very special response that stuck out. >> replace the carpets for my 90-year-old grammy and fixing the little things around her house. just a small thank you for not giving us kids up to foster care when our parents died. >> wow. >> all right. if that doesn't move you, what will? what does willie do? most people do nothing. he jumps into action. he gets a bunch of friends in the construction industry. all of whom donated their time and labor. it wasn't new carpets and little
fixes. by the time they were through vivian gaiellegos got a new kitchen, new appliance, new furnace, $80,000 in all. granny was shocked speechless. >> it hasn't sunk in. not yet. oh, my. >> you know what, she's got time because the house is in good shape and she can enjoy it when she will. her appreciation is not the reason they did it. they did it because it was the right thing to do. >> i love that. just on a whim he asked a question on facebook. >> and it wasn't as if the grandchild was seeking really, really seeking help. this was kind of a rhetorical question. this was a rhetorical question. he did something about it. >> identifying need isn't hard. doing something about it is very hard. we try to recognize it whether it's the cop going into the burning car or this guy in the course of his job decided to do something a little extra, a little bit more and now there's this entire family and certainly this one older woman. >> we see that.
it's not something grand. he didn't build a completely new house. they did something small although it added up to $80,000. >> and he did it with the help of so many others, too. it was a team effort. >> more people get involved, the more it grows, the more gooder it gets. >> we love the gooder. >> that's it for us. a lot of news we're following this morning. let's get you to the newsroom let's get you to the newsroom with ms. carol costello. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com thanks so much. happening in the newsroom. >> didn't get what you wanted this christmas. >p >> incredible door bust >> ger>> get ut>> ge>>. >> how does 75% off sound or 100 bucks off a mac book? we're live as millions hit the malls. power problems, many americans and their cold, chilly christmas. tens of thousands shivering without power since last saturday after a major ice storm paralyzes people from michigan to maine. >>