tv Early Start CNN January 2, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST
good morning to you, a very "early start." i'm ashleigh banfield. >> and azoraida sambolin. >> we're new here and i'm getting started. it's really great to be aboard. >> we're very excited to be here. we hope you join us every weekday monday through friday. 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. in the east. let's get started. a developing story, a person of interest now identified on surveillance video in california and those arson fires.
>> also, we've got something very unusual that's happening in mt. rainier. there's been a murder of a park ranger and they're looking for this person. they feel like he's escaped on foot at this point and have had to actually rescue some of the people that have been camping. we'll tell you more details about that. >> the fat weather service says blizzard condition in the great lakes could make the travel you're trying to execute impossible. >> isn't this like one of the busiest days of the year for travel. >> a lot got used to the warmer weather, you know, the nice conditions and -- >> snap out of it. >> bam, wake up. >> hey, guess what you'll have to snap out of that pre-election lull. we're down to 36 hours before vote time in iowa. talk about shaking hands. i wish they had a shake-oh-meter to know how many hands had been shaken buffett the polls started opening in the iowa caucuses. we have numbers for you. some are surprising.
"the new york times" says it is the worst los angeles has seen the 1992 riots in arson fires. police are releasing surveillance video showing what they call a person of interest. seeing it there on your screen, 39 fires are said to be linked to a serial arsonist. casey wian is following all the developments for us live in hollywood this morning. we understand police executed a search warrant. is that true? >> reporter: that's what's been reported, zoraida. we have new developments to report on the actual suspected arson fires themselves. we arrived here at the command center about an hour ago, spoke with an arsing investigator who said so far tonight everything was quiet. well, in the last 45 minutes, things have definitely changed. four confirmed fires we're told
linked to automobiles near carports in the los angeles area. the fire department has responded to all four of those scenes. they're trying to determine if incendiary devices were used in those fires which is what happened with those 39 other fires over the last couple of days. my producer stan wilson just informs me that there is another incident that they are -- that the fire department is responding to where several vehicles in one structure are on fire as we speak. so this night that began very, very quiet. has now turned very different. arson investigators are responding to multiple incident, zoraida. >> do we have a description on this person of interest? >> reporter: well, the one person of interest that they have put out that video that you showed early is described as a white male, balding, but with a pony tail. he was seen emerging from a parking structure, an underground parking structure in
the hollywood area not too far from where i was standing walked with his right hand in his pocket and walked with what appeared to be a limp. now, it's interesting, this is the only person of interest that they have shown video of, but there has been some speculation, i guess, that maybe more than one person is involved and given the fact that they're looking at five different fires they're responding to in the last 45 minutes, that would seem to support that theory. >> we also understand that the police are asking the public for help and they're actually offering here a sizable reward. can you tell us about that? >> reporter: so far $60,000 reward is being offered and, of course, they are asking for the public's help. they're asking anyone who recognizes the image of this person that they've distributed to the local media here to contact police and they're also telling people to be careful and lock their cars overnight.
zoraida? >> casey wian live in hollywood, thanks for those details. we've got another developing story on the horizon right now, as well. this is really strange. killer on the loose in mt. rainier park and listen to how this actually transpired. routine traffic stop, ranger tries to stop a car, car won't stop. so she wires ahead to set up a road block and the person who was setting up the road block was a female ranger, 34 years old, mother of two, gets out of the car and suspect shoots her dead. suspect shoots the ranger dead and then flees on foot. they've got a suspect in mind, here's the ranger, 34 years old, mother of two, apparently married to another park ranger in mt. rainier, as well. the suspect they're thinking of, benjamin colton barnes, the name we've been given. he may also be connected to the shooting of four other people over the weekend at a party.
we also hear that he's got survivalist skills and that he's got military experience. you can see from the pictures and surmise what else we know about him. here's something else, all the folks who have been in mt. rainier park, camping, visiting over the holidays, many of them had to be rounded up, taken to the visitors center and kept us police escort. we're told they're being evacuated but don't know at this point if they've all been evacuated or how that's going or whether they're under guard because he's sniper style and concerned he's still on the loose. >> a very scary situation there. unbelievable. >> there's like two feet of snow on the ground. so when they're able to use that to their advantage to track him or whether that's tougher because as the snow keeps falling those tracks keep getting covered so snow a problem and for us in the northeast, as well. >> apparently this big chill is coming to the northeast and you know we have gotten so comfortable with warmer temperatures so over two feet of lake-effect snow on the way that
may affect people trying to get home from the holidays. i love that it makes news in january. >> rob marciano is joining us in the extreme weather center. >> welcome to cnn. >> thank you very much. we're happy to be here. >> it's nice -- i swear to god -- >> just meeting. >> and full disclosure we're just meeting right now. >> a good machine, cnn, we're all over the world. >> you've been working hard for the last several months. >> no, we just showed up. >> you're a new dad, too. we found out about this. my first e-mail picture when i was on the job was you with your newborn baby. >> we try to keep everyone informed about the breaking news. >> how are you doing? >> we're doing fine. >> can we do this? >> yes, it is news in january to have snow because it's been such a mild winter. you would think by this time of the winter we would see some serious snowfall totals across, well not only the northeast but
midwest. typic typical band effect. you see the rotation of that white. we haven't seen much in the way of white as far as snow goes across the northeast certainly the past two months, it's still mild in new york, 42, 40 degrees in d.c. that cold air will pour down to the south and east. blizzard warnings are up for parts of the u.p. of michigan and upper hand, as well. 12 inches of snow expected in some of these areas. with winds blowing 30, 0 miles per hour blizzard conditions blinding visibilities. 10 to 20 inches in the favored lake-effect areas, maybe a couple of feet in syracuse or watertown. cleveland, you'll see some delays because of that snow and wind. visibility will be bad. windy across new york metro and the windchills will bring the temperatures down as will the actual temperatures be dropping throughout the day.
the high term of 40 in new york city will be short-lived as cold air filters. midsection looks good. pasadena rose bowl happening later. toasty there. another storm moving in across the pacific northwest and the winter classic, temperatures will be dropping had and that blizzard happening across parts of michigan, finally snow and winter weather across the northeast. >> rob, thank you for that. we'll have to talk more to you because we do love weather stories. love you. i'm trying to make nice with my new colleagues. okay. so i don't know. have you been doing the math, the countdown? it's like christmas for us or holiday time or hanukkah or anything else we celebrate. when the primary and caucuses come, news media go crazy, 36, 34 1/2 -- >> it's two days until we know who won the first caucus at least in this entire race. it's iowa, folks. what did you get me? you know, we might have a sneak
peek. of course, we have polls coming out all the time. 64 republican iowa insiders, state politician, business leaders, politico, all the people in the know in that tate and got some numbers for you on who they think will finish first. are you ready? not a big surprise, mitt romney, 63% of them think he will take the first spot, 27% think it will be ron paul and are you ready for the this, the guy surging in the poll, rick santorum got nada, doughnut, a little odd because actually in the last two days of last week's polls he insured up. john aft john avlon and also erick erickson, the editor in chief of redstate.com.
ruben from "the washington post" and we have at host of "get right" with lenny mcalister. john, want to start with you. i like that insider thing that cnn did but it's not reflective of the polls everybody else is doing including cnn, so what's a girl to think moving into the last 36 hours? are the polls right, the insiders right? >> as you just said, the insider poll is just that, a poll of insiders in the state of what will happen and does reaffirm a lot of the other large polls that is that mitt romney is in poll position. ron paul can't be counted out. his supporters are so intense. caucuses are low turnout high intensity affairs. rick santorum getting the doughnut hole is a surprise. 60% of the turnout last time in 2008 which made mike huckabee the winner --
>> erick erickson, they often say and i'll repeat it that there are only three tickets out of iowa and the third ticket is pretty sought after and most people were assuming that it was going to be either rick santorum vying for that spot or gingrich but now we're not sure what to think anymore especially with the big fat doughnut on the insider poll. what should we think? >> it depends on ron paul. john mccain came in fourth in iowa and was the nominee for the republicans. ron paul discounted that with his support. depends where it comes from and the other ground game. i have been told there are several organizations on the outside and complains on the inside alt showing that it's a three-way race. >> perry, honestly? perry at this point? >> well, strong ground game that rick santorum doesn't have. >> he doesn't have those numbers. >> the campaign internals from
several of the campaigns have it a three-way tie. even the des moines poll, perry, santorum and gingrich are within the same area. he's probably going to surprise everyone including the iowa insiders but can't discount ground games when there is no snow on the ground either. >> iowa is a big proponent of figuring anybody who works hard and does retail politics will do really well in iowa and we have without cuisine rick santorum been the benefactor of that. ruben, maybe you can weigh in why rick perry hasn't done better. he had a thousand captains who were going to be, you know, taking part in fewer than a thousand actual poll locations. so that's pretty good. and he's been to a lot of places, yet he is doing numbers nowhere near what santorum is doing so why is that, by the way, let me add he's pretty conservative and pretty religious. >> right, and most significantly
as you mentioned he spent the most, outspent everybody else in iowa and still poll numbers, i agree with you, are not moving up. >> what is going on? >> i think the competition is too stiff. once he surrendered the top spot because of his debate performances, i think paul began to surge and he's being elbowed out of the way. i do think it will be the same three names, paul, romney and santorum, but i think the order will be reversed. i think rick santorum will do very well. possibly win iowa with romney in second and paul will get the third ticket out of iowa. >> lenny, let me switch gears but at the same time i still want to work polls into this. that is newt gingrich who hat really struggled to put it mildly in the last week and a half. is the great experiment of going nice a dumb idea and why would you experiment in iowa?
>> well, it's not a dumb idea. newt gingrich did not do a whole lot here for the straw poll in august. if you're going to experiment, experiment here. it's a long-term strategy. it's not a short-term strategy. if you play nice and move forward and rye to be that presidential figure that's above the fray you have to do that for the long haul. newt gingrich hasn't been very discipline the lately. what he needs to do is have the discipline to say this is what i said i will do. i'll stay positive but i want to do this going into new hampshire, i'm going to do this going into south carolina and i want to try to keep that momentum going forward with being positive and then regain those poll points hopefully with some better results, some better responses when it comes to dealing with the media and not letting these other candidates get underneath their skin. >> not the last we'll hear from you. thanks very much to all four of you. >> thanks. >> okey-dokey.
it's 5:15 in the east and time to check in on the stories making news. >> i've been up for hour, trust me. >> police in los angeles have a person of interest in connection to three dozen arson fires during the new year's weekend. investigators say the man was spotted on surveillance video in several locations. there's a person right there. he is said to be in his 20s or 30s and wears a ponytail. >> a manhunt going on around mt. rainier, washington. actually that's in washington state. police are looking for a man they say shot and killed a park ranger while they were trying to stop him and then he took off into the woods. there's the ranger. there's the suspect. his name, benjamin colton barnes, he's believed to have military experience and survivalist skills and also think he is a suspect in a sunday morning shooting that injured four in seattle. >> iran says it successfully
test-fired two long-range missiles on the final day of maybe war games. yesterday they tested their first nuclear rod strengthening fears it's on its way to building nuclear weapons. the u.s. stepped up sanctions against iran in december. it has not ruled out military action to stop iran's nuclear programs. >> so you always tell me you think i'm crazy for having two blackberries. >> no, it's a great idea. >> so is everybody else who teases me. and an ipod and an ipad and -- >> well, social media is you will at craze, right? would you think it is in iowa? >> i do. i'm a prairie girl. i think that's the greatest thing in the world for a disparate area of the world. >> i'm figuring how broadband works. we'll see some farmers and how it's working for them. also, something that we, listen, this will be funny stuff. could be a disaster but we have
a very -- >> we'll try it. >> a very famous woman from a very famous political dynasty that will join us but she doesn't know it. we'll just call her and wake her up. and see if she ants her phone and want her to weigh in. >> we're worried folks will cuss. is there a button we can push? >> actually you'll be in on the joke all along. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus! so you earn 50% more cash. according to research, everybody likes more cash. well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no! but it's more money. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card.
will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. you know, i'm trying to figure out is that lenny kravitz. is that our music library. that will wake you up. getting an early read on local news making national headlines. this morning we have papers from maryland and utah. >> this is the kind of papers we have but i know that they have them in their communities. >> there they are. from "the baltimore sun."
hawaii and delaware allowed same-sex unions. >> a know a lot find that controversial. >> it was very controversial in the state and called it a prime example of exercising civic courage. doing what is right. he did get a lot of opposition there. >> not even same-sex marriage. >> five states now recognize these union, washington, d.c. allows same-sex marriage. so, all right. congratulations. some folks very excited. >> you'll learn a lot about us in the coming day, month, years and hopefully decades. we're both moms and so this story is actually quite -- >> i haven't heard it yet. >> you better get your goose
bumps ready. three kids in a car in logan county, utah. these three kids and the driver, look at the icy bank they went into. it was over on its roof at one point. the driver could get out but could not get the kids and kids were only 9 years old, two girls were 9 and a 4-year-old boy apparently passers-by helped this driver as he was struggling a way -- couldn't get the doors open so used a handgun to shoot open the windows of the car. the passers-by got three of the kids out. look, get the goose bumps ready. they were not in great condition but we are told now that they're all expected to recover. but, lord, can you imagine getting into that icy river. you should get awarded. >> that doesn't always happen. okay, it is 5:23. you can knock on more doors and
shake more hands and kiss more babies than any other candidate has in history but in a rural state the best way to get people's votes may actually be the internet. so joining us now to talk about this michael libby, co-founder of central iowa bloggers and members of the des moines central media club, deb brown, larry sealer, an iowa farmer and an undecided voter. we have clair selsy, president of the des moines social club. >> they look freezing. >> it is a little chilly there. so, larry, we'd like to tart with you. when you think of iowa you think of farms, not social media. how are you using the social media to assist you with farming? >> we've got into social media as just a way of communication
so we can get on our computers or cell phones and get ahold of our consumers and share ideas and start a dialogue. >> do you talk politics? >> we talk politics a little bit. it's kind of hard to avoid politics. that kind of decides everything that we do. it's controlled by the government. we got a lot of regulation and have to keep up with it. >> deb, if we can talk to you for a minute here, you connect all the farmers and small businesses. how does that work and is this new to rural areas or have you done this in other areas, as well? >> no, it's not really new to rural areas. we've been talking to each other for quite a while. the technology is a little bit new. using twitter, facebook, those are pretty popular and i think it's 57% of franklin county where i live is on facebook. it's the new party line. >> and, claire, you're the president of the des moines social media club. how is it different in was's largely a rural state?
>> it's pretty amazing considering back in 2000 when there was the internet but no social media it's a lot more labor intensive trying to get political support for your candidate without it so i'm interested in watching ever since probably 2004 on to now, how social media has really caught on as an organizing tool, a fund-raising tool, and really just kind of 24-hour, 7 day a week organizer, i can imagine it's probably saving campaigns a lot of money and a lot of time. >> so, michael, let's talk a little about that. let's talk about how it has changed politics in the area. >> well, social media is one of those tools that business and politicians use on a regular basis to connect with their constituency. a scant six or seven years ago most of us thought a tech fnora
tag was something kids in japan played with on the playground. so many are engaged in it for business and politics. no time in history have the consumers had more power in their hands to be able to connect with not only candidates, but also businesses worldwide. large and small, i should say. >> now, i can't let you go without asking you about the weather. because it looks like the wind is really blowing. seems a little chilly in the area. can you tell us a little about that before we go? >> you know what, yeah, just absolutely. you know, just a couple of days ago we had 53-degree weather. i think it was the day before yesterday and turned off cold for this, the day just prior to the iowa caucuses. we expect there to be a great turnout here in iowa. you know, we're pretty hearty folks here and do enskoi this kind of weather even though it might look like we're a little cold out here.
hello, everybody, i'm ashleigh banfield. it's 32 past the hour. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. here is what did on the agenda. trying to get the votes and change minds in the last full day of campaigning in iowa. how many are undecided? versus how many can have their minds changed? we'll talk about that. >> kind of like a half and halfy thing really. some are sort of undecided. by the way, since it's the eve of the political season kicking off which we're so excited about we thought we'd wake somebody up to ask them about it. we're not telling you who.
we'll give you a hint. it's somebody from a very prominent political family. it's a kennedy. >> oh. i'm going to wake up a kennedy. >> but we won't tell you which one and she doesn't know either. i'm not going to tell you if her dad was president or if heir r was a senator. she doesn't know we're calling. >> we have other stories catching our attention. a new lead in a string of arson fires in southern california. police do have a person of interest right there in the circle from surveillance video at two of the fire locations. so this man is said to be in his late 20s to mid-30s with dark hair and a ponytail. 39 fires have been set in and around los angeles investigating another eight additional fires now, as well. another bizarre crime story. dozens of people being escorted out of mt. rainier national park because of this guy. the national park authorities
say they're on the hunt for this man. they say he shot and killed a park ranger. it happened yesterday, the suspect you see here apparently escaping into the woods, just al last hour police reported over a hundred visitors spending holidays in the park of the first they had them in the visitors center. they said this guy could be a sniper. has military experience. they have no idea how dangerous he is. iran's military says it has successfully test-fired two long-range missiles that happened this morning one day after the country claimed to have successfully tested its first nuclear fuel rod. u.s. officials say they have not ruled out military action to top iran's nuclear program. right now, if you're in the great lakes, get on. check it out. there's your winter weather warning, a big storm coming first in 2012. blizzard conditions expected to slam from minnesota to new york today, tomorrow, just when you're trying to travel home.
up to 20 inches of snow expected. 40-mile-an-hour wind gusts. national weather service the bearer saying whiteout conditions could make travel, ve ready, i'm sore, impossible. they said impossible, not us. >> maybe just delayed. >> maybe you did want to be delayed for work. we're closing in on the iowa caucuses. the saying is there are only three tickets out of iowa who gets them? we've got a great panel today to tell us what to expect. cnn contributor john avlon, also a political columnist for "the daily beast kw. erick erickson and ruben navarette, and lenny mcallister, conservative commentator who hosts "get right with lenny
mcallister." thank you so much for joining us. woo here we have the latest "des moines register" poll. mitt romney, 24%, ron paul, 22%. rick santorum, 15% and newt gingrich 12% and you see santorum's spike we've been talking about, he jumps to second place. john, let's start with you. how do you see this playing out? >> well, zoraida, the first thing to keep in mind the only poll that matters is on caucus night. all of this is preliminary so remember that basic fact of our democracy. you see mitt romney in the poll position, however, he's the only guy in politics with a glass ceiling. i can't seem to break past 25% so the question is how the rest of the deck is shuffled. rick santorum does seem to have the big momentum. ron paul supporters will turn out. they're deeply dedicated. wouldn't count out newt or rick perry with his big ground
organizational game. whether or not retail politics still matters as much as it historically has in iowa is the question. >> is romney actually going to win this? most folks are saying, yes. >> i can see him possibly winning on tuesday but here's the interesting thing, john mentioned mitt romney's ceiling. the real coming out of iowa is going to be is this going to be newt gingrich's floor? is this going to be rick perry's floor? rick perry has the money and newt gingrich had the momentum coming out of the debates. if this ends up being their floor, they could say this is their low water mark and start regaining momentum. for romney, if he win, it's great but if he still starts running into trouble in south carolina and florida, he's recovered there but if he can't solidify his base there he has the same problem he's had for the last several months. let's talk about somebody different.
you had pretty harsh words for rick santorum and asked his supporters why they think he is the best candidate. you don't get why he's surging. >> you know, i get why he's surging and the other candidates who have appealed to evangelicals have fallen flat so now it's rick santorum's time. i'm not sure if it's been overstated in the polls or it's legit talking about replacing a guy that folks don't say has enough experience to be president to one who was swept out with the largest margin of loss and he hasn't been back. the private sector experience that romney had for job creation, i give evangelicals want an evangelical. i get it. i'm an evangelical. it's not much more of a record that they say barack obama had. >> retail politic, this guy has done it.
ruben, santorum, he has spoken at nearly 400 events got the endorsement from the family leader and head of the republican party there says don't count santorum out. people believe in him. any chance he actually pulls this off? >> yes, a good chance because i think he's picking up momentum at just the right moment. he's peaking at the right moment. and, again, the people on the ground, they sort of go with this establishment thinking that mitt romney has this in the bag. if it were true you wouldn't have this up and down quality. everybody but romney -- i think rick santorum despite i agree his weak resume is a weak resume, something is resonating with him. he's out there. he really wants it. it's enthusiasm that gets him across the line. >> john, erick, ruben, lenny,
we'll talk to you again. >> thanks. okay. i don't want to be the keeper of doom and fwloom here but while we're giving you a culture loop, one of the first looks that's trend something a weird one. ready. it's 2012 and for the second year in a row on new year's eve, 200 birds have been found dead in a small arkansas city. again, did i mention second year in a row? last year it was 5,000 blackbirds that fell from the sky -- i'm not sure if it's bybee bybee, arkansas. i will definitely read up. i think it's fireworks which makes sense. it was new year's eve but somebody may have set them off just a little too close to a wildlife preserve, i think. >> oh, no. that wouldn't be nice. but it is a little weird, isn't it?
doo-doo-doo-da. >> lebron james and the ring, apparently he popped the question. he proposed to savannah at a miami nightclub on new year's eve. >> nightclub. >> seriously. the mother of his two children. the news set off a string of twitter jokes about how she has a ring but he doesn't. i'm surprised they didn't know this earlier. >> i know. i don't really follow -- is a basketball player? >> yeah, i knew that would get your goad. >> more of a curling person. >> he's a superstar. >> superstar. >> okay. so i've been telling you all morning i'll wake up a kennedy. i figured it wouldn't be fair if i didn't tell you who it is. it is bobby's daughter. don't call her to warn her if you're a friend of hers but -- >> you happen to have her phone number. >> i'll dial her up. just an experiment and a
good morning to you. a live picture from london. 10:44 right there now. big ben, i was there not too long ago. >> i wonder if it's as cool there as it is in the northeast, commensurate parallel. >> we have no idea. i'll check for you. lovely this time of year. >> basically on occasion on this program as we move forward and try out crazy ideas essentially we'll wake some poor soul up.
somebody connected to the news but really has no idea -- we're basically exercising our rolodexs and today's rolodex would be kerry kennedy. i hope she actually is awake because -- okay, this is getting embarrassing. >> she's going to answer. >> i'm sure she will. >> come on, kerry. come on. >> hello. >> hi, is kerry there? >> yeah, this is me. >> hi, kerry. it's ashleigh banfield calling. >> good morning, ashleigh. >> you're on the air so no "f" bombs. how are you? >> i'm okay. >> i'm doing my best to imitate howard stern by calling you and waking you up but i wanted to call you particularly on our inaugural show because we're on the eve of the big political kickoff and wanted to know what
it was like for you in the political dynasty you grew up with all of the campaigns that you've gone through. i did a quick piece of math and think it's one, two, three, four, five, six members of your family have been in elected office. is that right? >> oh, i've never counted. >> you had to do -- what was it like going through all the campaigns? we're seeing beautiful pictures of your father, so handsome and so endearing and such a tragic tire and wanted to know what it was like going through the campaigns for you. >> well, you know, we just loved -- i have great memories of campaigning with him around new york and then across the country, of course, when he was running for president. he took us everywhere and made an enormous effort to make it a good time for the kids, so we went to the bronx zoo.
we camped i remember going to ride on little ponies and -- >> you were 8 years old when he was killed, right? >> i was 8, yeah. >> do you still have haunting memories of every campaign? >> well, haunting, did you say? >> haunting memories. this has something -- >> i have wonderful memories. >> yeah, i mean, i have great memories and i think that it's an amazing thing to be through campaigns because you get to see parts of the country or parts of the city that you would never, you know, that you wouldn't normally see and people invite you into their homes and they talk about the problems that they see in their daily lives, you know. >> i want to really just
quickly, i have 30 seconds left but want to ask you about the rfk foundation you've been so intricate in working on projects for children and education and give me a quick 15-second tease on what you've been up to the rfk foundation and the work it's doing. >> well, we have the, of course, power to education program curriculum for middle and high school students and that -- and that's available online to anybody interested in learning about human right, not just -- we invite everybody to come look at our website, rfkcenter.org. >> you are the bomb, my friend. can i just tell you when you wake up, you sound a little like me and also demi moore in the mornings. kerry, thank you, sweetie pie. >> okay, take care. >> at a later hour. >> okay, thanks. >> that was great.
>> she has a rather sexy voice. very demi moore. >> this is good news. >> whew. boss is happy. 48 minutes after the hour here. a developing story from mt. rainier national park where an intense manhunt is under way for a man suspected of killing a park ranger. the suspect, benjamin colton barnes may be armed, military trained and also responsible for shooting four people in seattle. >> have some surveillance video apparently that suggests a person of interest, take a peek, kind of hard to make out who that person is but police want to talk to them because they think he may be connected to more than three dozen arson fires, the pictures have been outrageous. investigators say that guy was spotted in several locations where the fires were happening and they're responding to eight new fires trying to figure out if they're connected.
apparently the suspect 28 to 30 years old, dark hair, ponytail. south korea is offering economic aid to north korea if the north gives up its nuclear program. south korea's president is hoping for a, quote, new era of relations following the death of kim jong-il. north korea says it wants nothing to do with the south. the north says it feels insulted because south koreans did not attend or more south koreans did not attend the funeral of kim jong-il. >> call the airline and it's brutal and it's a blizzard.
[oink] [oinking] [ding] announcer: cook foods to the right temperature using a food thermometer. 3,000 americans will die from food poisoning this year. keep your family safer. check your steps at foodsafety.gov. [oinking] >> extremely bad. the big chill. is it extremely good or extremely bad. rob marciano is joining us. >> we had extreme mildness in december. now we're turning the corner in 2012. the radar as far as what's going on snowwise across the northeast, great lakes, this is cold air barreling south and east. we'll have windchill advisories as far south as west palm beach.
it's coming down across the great lakes. advisories for northwestern michigan today. 12 plus inches. windchills near zero, visibility at times near zero as well. cleveland to syracuse, winds gusting over 40 miles an hour, blinding conditions. if you are traveling today new york metro and cleveland will be the hot spots as far as delays are concerned and chicago and detroit, as well and as mentioned that cold air will pour south and east. 48 in new york for the high but temperatures will be plummeting throughout the day to finally feel like -- you guys arrive and things now finally act the way they should weatherwise. >> cold weather. >> yeah, those were big hubs we're expecting delays when everyone is coming back. >> we've been working so hard i forget today is a big holiday. >> not a holiday for journalists or people complaining, let's just say that. >> that is true. >> are you a sports fan? >> yes.
>> they say god works in mysterious ways. tim tebow, a weird story. >> i know he lost. >> but did he really lose in the big picture? doesn't he still get into the big game? god works in miysterious ways. >> they still are in the playoffs. >> the full story after the break. for a limited time, passages malibu
tim tebow magic to get the broncos into the playoff, the answer turned out to be yes but not thanks to him. they made it despite losing to the chief, 7 hi-3. he lost three straight after a series of spectacular fourth quarter comebacks earlier in the seechlths a loss by the raiders pushed them into the postseason. denver will host the pittsburgh steelers in a wild card playoff game happening next sunday. >> yeah, football, do they get goals or baskets? >> come on, seriously. >> no, i'm kidding. i do have a couple of things to update for you at the top of the hour. you won't believe what's going on in southern california, arson fires nonstop. eight more they're looking at. iowa, there are only 5% of the latino population. republican candidates making a mistake ignoring them? we'll talk things latino in iowa when we come back.
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and good morning to you. i'm ashleigh banfield. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it's "early start." we're coming to you from the cnn election center this morning. very excited to be here with you. >> our giant flag in the background. feeling very american, and you know what? it's a good thing. 30 hours or so until things get opened up and iowa caucuses get underway. >> and incredible coverage headed your way as well. it is 6:01 in the east. new surveillance tape identifies
a person of interest in the california arson fires. the new fires may be a part of an arson spree. eight of them they're looking into now. also another very strange story going on in washington state. this man is apparently a suspect in a killing of a ranger in mount rainier national park. apparently supposed to be a routine traffic stop, but if the allegations are true, the man in the picture took off and when a road block was set up decided to shoot a 32-year-old mother of two who was a park ranger. that story coming up. and conditions in the great lakes could make your travel a bit impossible there. mr. marciano is standing by to give us the very latest on that. and one day to go. it's the iowa caucuses. has did you get me? ah! what did you get him? ron paul, rick perry and a whole lot of them really gunning for the number one, two and three spots. who's going to get them?
polls are out and shifting like crazy. great stories coming up four in the next half hour. we begin with news in southern california. possible break in the investigation of more than three dozen arson fires in and around the los angeles area there. police released this. surveillance video showing that person of interest, as they're calling him. ript now the fire department is responding to at least eight vehicle fires. they're trying to figure out if this is all related. cnn's casey wian is following the latest developments for us. he is live in hollywood. we talked to you in the last hour. what's changed? >> reporter: well, it's just gotten busier, sore rid zoraida. investigators are looking at eight different vehicle fires that spread out through the los angeles area just in the last two hours. they are at six locations. four of them to locations are in a, sort of a cluster with a two-mile radius in the san fernando valley.
that section of los angeles. also, we've been monitoring the radio scanner that the los angeles fire department uses. just in the last couple of minutes we've heard a report of another fire in the west, the city of west hollywood, just to the west of where i'm standing at the command center, described as an auto structure commercial fire. we also hear through that radio scanner traffic, that all of the incidents have been visited by arson investigate ert as this point except for one. these fires our happening so quickly. there are not enough arson investigators to be at all of them at the same time. a very busy night so far. if any or all of the incidents are tied to the string of arson fires over the last several days, that brings the numbers well into the 40s, zoraida. >> back to the video. they do have a description of this person. can you share that with us? >> reporter: yes, a person of interest. not a suspect at this point.
very near to the hollywood highland complex, for people familiar with this area of los angeles. there's surveillance tape of a white male emerging from an underground parking structure who has a receding airline, a po ponytail. walking with what appears to be a limp. right hand in his pocket the entire time. so the fire department and the police investigators are asking the public to give them a call if, in fact, they recognize this person. zoraida? >> and a $60,000 reward there. casey wian, thank you so much for those latest developments. and another big and strange, actually, strange crime story developed in the northwest, mount rainier national park. a suspect approached a road block and shot the park ranger dead. she is 34 years old and a mother of two. this is the woman that we're talking about. it was just supposed to be a
routine traffic stop. she set up a road block and this suspect shot her dead and took off on foot. the suspect they believe they're after at this point is benjamin colton barnes. take a good look. supposed to have military experience, apparently survivor skills. the photo we have. surmise what you will. serious gear, obviously. and may be also connected to a shooting in seattle in which four people were shot on saturday night. i don't know if that was a new year's party or what. people who went for their holiday at rainier park had to be rounded up. they believe he's a sniper, and over 100 people. escorting them out. i don't know if they're all out, but on that job all morning long trying to get people to safety. >> all that snow in the area potentially creating a perhaps making it easier
because of the tracks. >> snow there. seeing big snow across the northeast finally as well. it's been a mild winter. hasn't it? welcome, welcome, ladies. doing a great job. snows across parts of the northeast. you bet. finally. the lake effect favored areas, strong winds across the u.p. of michigan. blizzard warnings in through this area. blinding conditions at times and those snows making their way into parts of upstate new york and western pennsylvania. five to ten inches across the u.p. expected today. 12 across some sports of western michigan and blizzard warnings posted through this area through today. winds gusting 30, 40 miles an hour or better reducing ved visibilities. you could see one to two feet before it's all said and done. cleveland, issues today. blustery conditions, getting
colder as well. tomorrow, a hole lot different than they have been across parts of the northeast. midsection of the country, not too shabby. west coast not too bad with a couple of storms coming into the pacific northwest. 30 degrees in new york city. 26 degrees in chicago. it will be 46 degree in kansas city. windchills in iowa, breezy, cold. tomorrow breezy, milder, high temperatures into the 30s. above average. all in all, election weather looks to be pretty decent. >> rob, thank you for that. you know, this morning -- oh. thank you. we're still getting used to our cameraing. camera shot. it is a big travel day. check in with you later. >> on the eve's caucus time and primary time. a pretty good time if you're a politician or you're exhausted. one of the two. in less than two day, 30 hours or something, we're going to
know, who won the world, or who won iowa. cnn has a sneak peek of insider information we've been canvassing. state politicians, business leaders, politicos, et cetera and issed the question, who's going to be first? first in iowa? and here are how the numbers shake out. 63% say mitt romney maybe not a big surprise. but what might be more surprising, 27% say ron paul, and no one, zero, said rick santorum. that just does not jive with what the polls have been saying the last couple of weeks. it's been ron paul and rick santorum really jockeying for number two and number three. we've got a totally crack team of insiders as well. a senior political columnist and cnn contributor eric erickson as well, editor and chief of "red state dotcom" and syndicated columnist for a writer's group
and host of "get right with lenny mccallister." and start with you, because i find it fascinating so many undecideds at this point, people considered to be undecideds. officially, 1% who are undecided. 40% call themselves persuadable. that's interesting going into a very persuading process. getting into the churches and local community centers, that's what they're doing. all of those captains trying to persuade you. >> that's right. at the beginning of the caucus, tuesday night, 8:00, a chance for every team leader from different campaigns to make the case for why they're supporting their guy. so it opens up the door for people called inaudible. on the fence. i'm going this way down the road. rick santorum has been surging in every poll across the board in the last several days. frequently people making up
their mind in the last minute who can make a difference. ron paul supporters, hard core. they aren't going anywhere. mitt romney being the most electable can take him over the finish line. and terry bran stat, a center-right candidate. a photo finish. this is a long way from over. >> i think you're right. particularly an interested in eric erickson, get you to weigh in on this, on governor perry and also rick santorum, because these guys are very organized. like, i don't know if most know this, but they are very organized. i think santorum has basically been living in iowa for a year. rick perry about 1,000 different captains in the various polling centers, and rick santorum said somewhere around 2,000. so they've got the men on the ground. men and women on the ground in those centers who will be arg gowing for them and trying to pitch their cause. does that, perhaps, bode well for santorum and perry, because
they have the boots on the ground? >> to a degree it does. depends on how well the organization is. to an extent, rick santorum has been in iowa a long time but not the money to build a ground game and dependent on evangelical resources to help him. that helped huckabee in 2008 with a lot of insiders then. >> money or not, eric, he's been there. he's been to every one of those 99 counties. i think he's met every iowan at this point. >> he probably has met every iowan, in fact, probably met a lot of people, families coming in from vacation, other states as well which may be helping. one thing, remember, a caucus is different from a primary. you're not just going and pushing a button. going, staying for an hour. you're being participatory. got to go one-on-one. people want to vote for rick santorum. could be an upset tuesday night. we won't know in the vote is over exactly what happened. i'm not trusting the polls in
iowa, because you have a hard time baup of the caucus. >> every time somebody cries i like it. when gingrich did it, when hillary did it, and now secretary of state for iowa endorsing rick santorum and showed up at a town hall moot meeting yesterday. kind of adorable. actually said, i'm going john boehner on you. have a look. it's sweet. >> the two most important reasons i have, or my kids. it's important to me -- i'm going all john boehner. i love my country. it's important to me that i leave a country stronger with more freedom to them than was left to me. >> i'm telling you, i get all tearing eyed myself when i see that. i don't know if i'm a sucker for this stuff, but weigh in on this for me. i saw rick santorum standing off to the left while he's being introduced with tears. it's a very personal thing.
these meetings are like literally shoulder to shoulder. you get to know these people up close and personal. don't you? >> right. absolutely. and if they reject you, if they vote for somebody else, if you come in lower in the polling for the final vote than you thought you would, it is very personal. i think one of the big stories, who doesn't survive iowa? who drops out after iowa or perhaps after new hampshire next week? and right now michele bachmann's not doing well. in iowa. this may be her last go-around. a very personal thing. you're absolutely right. people respond differently to this kind of pressure. >> lenny mccallister jump in quickly. 60% of the caucusgoers refer to themselves as evangelicals. could be closer to 40% this time around. what is it and what will that effect be? >> the effect, if it's not the evangelical vote out in, people may start trying to pick the most electable candidate and
ignore that aspect of what the candidate is all about. if that's the case, that's the reason why you see mitt romney going up to the top of the polls. we're going to find out on tuesday, are iowans going to pick who they would like to see be the candidate or are they going it try to send the message to the rest of the country as to who should be the candidate. if it's romney, it's who it should be. if it's iowa, it may end up being rick santorum, who they like personally and could care less what the rest of the country's going to do. >> lenny, 47 seconds. not 45. thank you very much. >> i'm sorry. >> thank you all. >> you'll get plenty of time in the next half hour. thanks. it is now 6:15 in the east. time to check in on the stories making news this morning -- authorities in los angeles have a person of interest in connection with more than three dozen suspected arson fires in and around the city during the new year's weekend. they're looking at eight additional fires now to see if they're connected somehow. also, manhunt going on in
the pacific northwest. in mount rainier national park in washington state. authorities are looking for a man they say fatally shot and killed a park ranger and took off on foot into the woods. his name -- well, let me show awe picture first of all of the woman who he allegedly killed. his name, ben ming colton and his victim only a 34-year-old park ranger, also a mother of two. mr. colton is expected to have military experience, survivalist skills. also a suspect in a shooting on sunday morning, late saturday night-sunday morning, in seattle that hurt four people in that community. obviously dangerous situation. very scary photos there. new this morning as well, iran says it has test fired two long-range missiles on the last day of its military exercises. iran successfully test the its first nuclear fuel rod yesterday. strengthening u.s. fears that iran is working to build nuclear
weapons. the u.s. government stepped up sanctions against iran in december and says it will not rule out military action. and still ahead, gop candidates ignoring latino voters in iowa? are they? aren't they? we're going to find out for you. >> and are there a lot of them? i think you'd be surprised. >> in iowa. >> most people would be surprised. welcome to idaho, where they grow america's favorite potatoes. everyone knows idaho potatoes taste great. but did you know they're good for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium. and idaho potatoes are now certified to carry
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it is 6:20 in the east, and we're getting an early read on your local news making national headlines this morning. papers from maryland and utah, and we're going to start with the "baltimore sun." hawaiian delaware began allowing same-sex civil unions on sunday. some folk, that's how they rang in the new year. i always like seeing the pictures. call me crazy, when you see the picturesish the outfits are fascinating. some in double wedding gowns,
tuxedos. men or women. no matter how feel about it. >> and five states recognize same-sex civil unions. six other states, washington, d.c., allows same-sex marriage. >> my state, connecticut, same-sex marriage. and my former country where i was born, canada, has had same-sex marriage for quite some time. >> a lot of controversy surrounding that. the governor said it was time. it was necessary rch and something you hear about on the campaign trail and not the last you'll hear of it. the "salt lake city tribune." amazing story of a rescue. see the picture? there were three children in that car and that water is very, very cold. the kids were two 9-year-old girls, one 5-year-old. the driver eventually used a handgun to blowed windows and three passersby, actually -- >> makes you cold thinking about it. >> i don't know if you can see
goose bump-vision on tv, passengers jumped into action to help those kids. we're told they're all expected to recover. hyperthermia and stress from the incident, but whoever those people are, i'm here to say, thank you. >> god bless you. >> bless you. remarkable stuff. >> happy that it's a happy ending. right? >> i know. folk, whoever wins the presidency in 2012 will need the latino vote to put them over the top. one day before the iowa caucuses. let's check in with folks in iowa. population over 91% white. gop candidates ignoring latino voters in iowa? live from des moines, iowa, we have lena robinson, president of latinos' group there. you're outside. kind of chilly this morning? >> freezing, actually. >> so sorry. let's try and get through this here. the latino population in iowa, some folks say it's not
significant, but in the last ten years, it has actually doubled and nearly half of them are registered to vote. so how are the candidates faring there with latino voters? >> actually, they've missed their mark. they actually have not contacted very many latinos at all. as a matter of fact, i was contacted by one, and that was the gingrich staff who contacted me, and as soon as they found out that i could not -- i wasn't supporting him, they kind of gave up, but then they picked up the realm by asking if latinos could do anything to help them out and i said, they could do a presentation, and we no longer had any -- what -- availability for them to present in 2011, she just decided not speak to us any further and hung up.
>> let me ask you about this -- >> and another individual -- >> if i ask ask you about this. >> yes. >> a lot of people believe for latinos the most important issue would be immigration. is that true? >> well, immigration reform. yes. we are very interested in that. >> according to the research, that's chuly not the most important issue. really, the economy is most important to latinos, and it seemed like actually immigration reform came in number six, but if we focus in on iowa here in particular, what kind of immigration reform are latinos looking for? >> well, we absolutely need to have immigration reform in order to establish an economy that's going to help out all of iowa, all of the united states. that will bring -- help out with job, the economy, education, health care. everything. everything will lead to -- if we
can get immigration reform, everything will come under that. >> let's focus here on the dream act, because it's legislation sitting before congress numerous times now. it has not passed. we do know that president obama does support the dream act and mitt romney actually had this to say about the dream act. >> the question is, if i were elected and congress were to pass the dream act, would i veto it? and the answer is, yes. for those that come here illegally, the idea of giving them in-state tuition credits or other special benefits i find to be contrary to the idea of a nation of laws. >> so the dream act for those who don't know is actually a path to citizenship for young people who obviously were brought here by their parents and not a decision that they actually, that they made. is this a hot button issue for folks in iowa? >> absolutely. abo absolutely.
we are all struggling for success, we all want a piece of the pie that is offered in the united states, which is opportunity. and opportunity begins with having a great education. the fact that the dream act has stumbled over and over again doesn't mean that we're going give up. we're going to continue it fight for it, and we had succeed at one point. the candidates need to understand that they need the latino vote. they haven't come across to reach us. he do not realize that our vote is substantial here in iowa and all over the united states, and they need to reach out to us. we are entitled to our vote and our opinion. we're going to look for citiza candidate that will support latinos. >> thank you for join us this morning. we appreciate that. so you know how -- >> i wish it could be endorsed. >> i know.
wonderful guest and contributor, sitting outside in iowa. you know how we had that segment last hour when you were awake at 5:00 a.m. eastern that woke up a kennedy and got her out of bed to ask her about the campaign? we decided it went so well we're going to do it again. >> not kerry kennedy this time. >> i'm excited about this. >> since we're new, maybe endear ourselves to our colleagues and call them at 6:00 a.m. and wake them up? >> is it a guy? is it a gal? >> you'll find out which one of our colleagues we're about to do this to next. d no way to suppor. people told me i wasn't going to do anything. and i just decided i have more to offer than that. i put myself through nursing school, and then i decided to go get a doctorate degree. university of phoenix gave me the knowledge to make a difference in people's lives. my name is dr. kimberly horton. i manage a network of over a thousand nurses, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] find your program at phoenix.edu.
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they're the better way to enjoy your fiber. welcome back. 28 minutes after the hour here. the iranians are making the world very nervous this morning. they say they have test fired two long-range missile as few hours ago in the gulf and may be preparing to shut down the strait of hormuz and cut off a big chunk of the world's oil supply. "early start," back in a flash.
hi, everybody. i'm ashleigh banfield. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. the last full day of campaigning in iowa. who will be number one, two, three. it doesn't matter. one through three is all they're talking about. >> we'll talk to panelists and see what they think. >> and we had such success waking up kerry kennedy we decided to do it all over again and this time somebody we work with. give awe hint. he has a beard. won beat box on the soul train awards and the third is, he said, don't ever call me early. he said know about five times and then -- >> i don't know if he foes we're calling. i did hint several times i need your number where you're staying right now at the election center. anyway -- it's wolf blitzer. i'll give it away. wolf blitzer. we're going to call and give it away. >> you gave it away when you said "beard." >> it couldn't have been like -- yeah. on a far more serious note
here, investigators in southern california had a you have lead in the string of suspected arson fires. a person of interest was spotted on surveillance video at several locations where the fires started. the man is said to be in his late 20s to mid-30s with dark hair and a ponytail. there he is in that circle. >> hard to see. >> officials say 39 fires have been set in and around los angeles. >> it is hard to see but that's the description. >> and has his hand in his possibility. >> and firefighters are responding to at least eight new vehicle fires. investigating if these are actually related to the arson spree. >> i hate to say it, another manhunt, but we have another manhunt. this one for someone considered armed and dangerous. take a close look. believed to have shot and killed a park ranger sunday at mount rainier national park. dozens of tourists held overnight at the visitor's center. upwards of 125 of them had to be escorted out of the park by park
police while they looked for that man who is supposedly a survivalist and armed and dangerous. not a good situation developing there. >> this one not either. successfully fired two long-range missiles yesterday morning, iran. the first tested nuclear fuel rod, strengthening the u.s. thought they are trying to developing a nuclear weapon. the u.s. government has increased sanctions against iran and has not ruled out military action, they say. and the great lakes, really, really great right now, if you like snow. gearing up for the first major snowstorm of 2012. blizzards expected to lam everythislam everything from minnesota to new york. get your shovels ready, today into tomorrow. 20 inches of snow expected and 40 mile-an-hour wind gusts takes your temperatures down a little bit. doesn't it? >> and national weather service, whiteout conditions can make
travel -- sorry to say it -- impossible. i know this is a holiday and you'll be traveling. sorry. check your airline. >> before you fly, as usual. no snow, but windy with a high of 31 today in des moines, iowa. all eyes on iowa ahead of tomorrow night's caucuses. will weather matter in? we saw some folks we were talking to earlier, freezing outdoors. can santorum actually win there? can michele bachmann pull off a miracle, as she says? a great panel to help us through it all. cnn contributor john, also senior political column ummist for ""newsweek" and "the daily beast." lendy mccallister, host of his own show and cnn's political editor paul steinhauser. paul, look at the des moines register polls everyone is talking about. first the full poll. mitt romney, 24%. ron paul, 22%, rick santorum at 15%. newt gingrich, 12%.
and here's what happens if you look at just the last two days of their polling. up see that the santorum spike we've been talking about, caucuses are hard to predict. what do you make of these polls? we're going to start with john. >> i'll tell you, i mean, first of all, rick santorum's got what george h.w. bush once calmed the big mo. momentum at his back, could be critical in the caucus. a high number of people undecided. we'll gelt into the caucus room and make up their mind right there. that's positive. mitt romney holding steady. big picture, amazing. the most volatile gop primary on record. seven people held the poll position at one point over the past year. far from over. this is going to be a photo finish. >> john, listen to what michele bachmann said the other day on abc. >> if you look at my past races, polling data showed me actually losing and eight points behind
in previous races that i've had when i've run for congress and yet i win by 8 and 13 points. so polls are sometimes, belie the truth on the ground, and that's what we see. this isn't just about polling. this is about what we're seeing in reality and i think tuesday night people are going to see a miracle. >> lenny, any chance of a miracle? >> there's a chance for a miracle. i mean, she won the straw poll here. here's the thing, though. she hasn't done much since. she's been caught in some bad comments. she's been not doing that great with debates, and she's been effective, but she's been effective against candidates that are now lower in the polls as well. she's been effective against, for example, she's gone after newt gingrich. he's fallen down. he's been very effective -- she's been very effective going against rick perry. he's lower in the polls now. so what has she been able to do against romney? not much. what has she been able to do against ron paul?
obviously not much here in iowa. she has a chance for a miracle. did i think it's going to happen? no. do i think she may be the one leaving the race monday night? it's very possible. >> and a great story today on cnn that looks at what happens next. tell us, what does happen next in your opinion? >> in looking at my crystal ball, here's what i can tell you, the stereotype, three tickets out of iowa. that doesn't hold if you look at the record. fred thompson came in third and limped through south carolina and then was done. if ron paul pulls out of an upset, that's a good thing more mitt romney. if rick santorum or another candidate represents social conservatives can pull off an upset, that narrows it down to a two-man race. mitt romney has a problem. the 25% glass ceiling. if any other candidate can coalesce, that's when it can be interesting and last a long time. >> paul, on the ground there. it was getting a little ugly yesterday. what are you following for us today?
>> you're right. it was getting ugly. we saw mitt romney actually firing back a little at rick santorum. goes to john's point that maybe the romney campaign is starting to take santorum a little more serious. criticizing rick santorum and gingrich. washington insider. romney paints himself as an insider and santorum says the only reason i endorsed you four years ago was because i didn't like john mccain. taking issue, they're on the campaign trail, i agree, john, would love to see ron paul win iowa if they don't, but i don't think they're that nervous about santorum. he's rising in the polls, but not much of an operation elsewhere and doesn't have a lot of fund-raising now. that could come together if he wins iowa, but it's a long shot for santorum even if he comes out on top. he needs the boots on the ground in the other states which he doesn't have yet. >> thank you, gentlemen, for joining us this morgue. keep on working for us. >> thank you.
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. live out to hollywood, california, right now because police say they may have detained a person of interest in that california arson story that we've been following. cnn's casey wian is in california for us. this is a big deal, casey. we are talking about dozens of fires at this point. right? >> reporter: absolutely. and there have been about a dozen more so far tonight, just in the last couple of hours, and we've been hearing traffic over the radio scanner, the los angeles fire department uses, and they mentioned they had a person in custody, and my colleague producer stan wilson went to that area very near here and he saw a white male with a ponytail in the back of a sheriff's department vehicle. we asked a captain with the los angeles fire department here's at the command center, and he said they are speaking with a person of interest. that's all they would tell us. we don't know if police or the fire department believe that this is the same individual who
was shown in that surveillance video. it does seem to match in terms of the general description. a white male with a ponytail receding hairline but developments very fast-moving in this case. we do know investigators are speaking with this person as we speak, ashleigh. >> jump on that and dovetail off. the video we saw, apparently there were other videos showing that same figure. hard to make out what he looks like other than a strange gait and keeps his hand in his pocket. are they suggesting that's the trail that may have led them to that particular person or was it that $60,000 reward? >> reporter: we don't know. what we do know, there have been clusters are fires for the last two hours in the general area where we are standing. a couple miles to the east of here. a couple miles to the north of here. we know there have been law enforcement helicopters overhead. lots of sirens. lots of activity.
we don't know if they were, had conducted surveillance operations and were following this person. we don't know the circumstances of him being detained. all we know is they have a person that they are speaking with tonight, ashleigh. >> unbelievable. casey, had we went to air about an hour and 40 minutes ago, the count, 39 fires. over the course of the last few hours of broadcasting, upped the count by about nine that they're investigating. we'll keep up with you. let you know if you find something out. remarkable. jon hunts sman live at 8:00. he's 1,200 miles from iowa in new hampshire on the eve of the iowa caucuses. why? because he says they pick corn in iowa, but they pick presidents in new hampshire. >> he's also doing well in new hampshire. right? kind of his goalpost for his whole campaign. y want to pay, and we give you a range of coverages to choose from.
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it is 44 minutes past hour. cnn's election center. a developing story from mount rainier park where an intense manhunt is under way for this guy right here. a man suspected of killing a park ranger. the suspect, benjamin colton barnes may be armed and perhaps has training in the military. you can tell there. and a breaking story with new details. surveillance video of a man suspected of setting a string of arson fires in california. they number 39 just an hour and a half ago. 9 more this morning being investigated add connected and now police there say they have a person of interest in custody being questioned, matching the description of the man with the ponytail. we don't know if it is the man you just saw in the surveillance video, but what a mess. 48 fires now in total.
again, 9 of them not connected to the string of fires but also vehicles set on fire. underneath apartment buildings. a very dangerous situation. >> at least they have somebody in custody they're talking to. and south korea offering economic aid to north korea, if the north gives up its nuclear program. today the president is hoping for a "new era of relations between the countries" following the death of kim jong-il. north korea says it wantsing in to do with the south. the north feels insulted now because more south koreans did not attend the funeral for kim jong-il. following you on this program, we hope you do, a project we took on called "wake them up." basically waking people up to ask them questions literally out of their sleep. we thought since we were new kids on the block on cnn, we would endear our colleagues by calling them at 6:00 a.m. and asking them questions.
>> did he already answer? don't you love that? >> wolf? >> hi. >> i wanted to actually dial and hear you wake up. have you been waiting on the phone. >> no. >> you don't sound like you've been up for long, my friend. >> no, no. >> thank you for answering the phone. >> well, congratulations. this is so exciting. >> we're pretty thrilled and actually not only thrilled to have day one on the air with "early start" but also to join the worldwide network at a time what you do is so critical and it's all politics all the time. >> so glad you're with it. this is going to be a great day. how's the first day going? >> i think it's going well. >> so far so good. >> par for the course. so you worked pretty late last night? >> we did a special that we did from 8:00 to 10:00, and it was good. i liked it. >> and i have to be honest with you -- >> you guys were sleeping.
i know. >> i was trying to. >> i was trying. actually, i took a sleeping pill, because i had not done this shift before and we get up at 1:30 in the morning to do this work. and so i was starting to really, really doze off at about 8:45 and it had nothing to do with you. were you awesome, my friend. can i ask you a question? it doesn't have to do with the politics game. we've been doing that a lot the last hour and 48 minutes. i know you weren't watching because you were up late. but i want to ask you about the campaigns in general. what year are you at at cnn? 28? >> 22. >> sorry. 22. >> okay. in 22 years of coverage, mr. blitz, have you ever seen anything so volatile? the roller coaster that we've been watching? and, by the way, you are adorable in these early pictures. >> let me turn on the tv. hold on. i want to see -- let's see -- it's pretty volatile. i don't remember anything you
know, that four or five front-runners and then all of a sudden collapsed and somebody else comes up. i don't remember anything like that. this is pretty unique. >> do we have anything to do with that? just the incredible -- >> i think the debates have really been significant and changed a lot of people's attitudes. >> you've done four? >> i've done two so far. >> cnn's done four? >> cnn's done four. yes. >> i think i was at 13 when i lost count of these current debates and another one next week? >> right. look at that. i haven't seen him in a while. >> are you enjoying that? >> yes. >> so you're going to work late tonight as well? >> tont we're going to be rehearsing late tonight. my show's on from 4:00 to 6:00. "the situation room." right? you see it? >> every day, my friend. not available lie tebow view. i am a number one fan. >> the situation is late-night tv. >> it is. we were talking about it.
watching it right before we go to bed. >> you're our "nightline." can we call you every morning at 6:45? >> no. >> it was that bad? >> we appreciate it, wolf. we know this tough on you, early in the morning. >> let me just say this, both of you look fabulous, when i see you on tv. you look great. >> thank you, blitz. in the words of herman cain, thank you, blitz. >> all right. >> bye-bye. >> what a nice guy. so when we come back, we are going to talk to our other colleague -- soledad abrio'brie. on her new show, "starting point." we'll talk to her when we come back. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually
and our colleague, soledad o'brien is standing by live with her brand new program "starting point." >> hey, soledad. >> hey, ladies, good morning. our starting point this morning is starting "starting point" here at the diner and our focus, the undecided. a huge group of voters who could make every single poll that has
happened so far until now absolutely, positively irrelevant. live in des moines. last full day of campaigns, of course, and the also talking about the candidate who said iowans pick corn not presidents. kind of snitty. isn't it? that's what jon huntsman said. he'll join us live at 8:00 this morning eastern time telling us why he thinks the state of new hampshire matters much, much more. all that and much more coming up at the top of the hour as we start "starting point." back to you guys. >> we'll be watching. guaranteed audience right here. >> thank you, soledad. you were born's in iowa, too. >> right. >> guaranteed. i said warm in iowa. it's been cold there. talking weather with another favery colleague, rob marciano. he's dreamy. did i say that? he is dreamy. in person, too.
>> probably so. and iowa seeing single digit numbers. tomorrow they'll rebound nicely to the 30s. 6 to 12 maybe more inches of snow. lake-effect snow warnings from cleveland, to syracuse, finally. blinding travel conditions if traveling by car. big holiday, get home, back to work tomorrow for most folks. cleveland, snow problems. new york city, metro, wind problems. chilly down to the south. windchill advisories as far south at west palm beach. winter has finally arrived, and we have you at cnn. >> nice to work with you, my friend. i've been watching you forever and ever on end. so, if you are a politician, would you not think you'd be in iowa right about now? if the contest starts in 30 hours or so? not jon huntsman. huh-uh. he is in new hampshire and dissing iowa. what, what? we'll tell you why. and filmmaker matthew modine in iowa.
next hour, we'll talk about his trio of provocative political short films. >> ooh. he looks different. >> not dreamy, too? this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool.