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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 30, 2013 6:00am-8:01am PST

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costello. >> happy monday. "newsroom" starts right now. . a second terror attack in russia, sochi games 39 days away. growing concern about the safety of athletes. i think we don't see an attempt on the olympics i'd be surprised. >> paralyzing cold gripping the midwest, 45-mile-per-hour winds, sub-zero temps and it's only going to get worse. plus -- >> the weather is minus 1 and blowing snow. >> another setback for the latest rescue mission in antarctica. we got word some of the passengers and crew on board that recertain ship will be evacuated by helicopter as soon as the weather improves. mean while, their spirits are high. >> sun on the horizon, chris, what is that? >> the ice breaker coming to
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rescue us. >> brilliant. >> brilliant. 17 weeks of football comes down to mere moments. rodgers on the field for the first time since the bears broke his collarbone and he broke the bears hearts. what is your top story from 2013? the votes are in, we will unveil your choices, you're live in the "cnn newsroom." >> good morning everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm kyra phillips in for carol costello today. terrorists have struck again in russia, at least 14 people died when a bomb explodeed along this trolley bus during rush hour. just yesterday commuters were targeted with this bombing that killed 17 people inside the main train station in volgograd the city once known as stalingrad.
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more than 400 miles from sochi, the site of the olympics, in less than six weeks. if you're travel from moscow or other parts of central russia, you have to travel through volgograd to get to sochi. diana magnay is in moscow. have there been any claims of responsibility to this point? >> not yet, kyra, as you say though there was a twin terror attack in and october another attack in the same city a female suicide bomber blowing herself up op. a bus. on july a video message from one of the main chechen war lords, umarov has a $5 million award on his head. he released a statement saying he would release maximum force to disrupt the low pressure games which he described as
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satanic dancing on the tombs of our ancestors referring to the muslim inhabitors of the town of sochi pushed out by czarist imperial forces. the russians are fighting islamist insurgency and all the terror attacks that have taken place on russian soil have emanated from that terrorists in that region are ready and willing to strike against the olympics, or to try and strike elsewhere to spread fear ahead of the olympics and that appears to have been the case in this instance. >> we'll follow the investigation and keep following this story as we lead up to that time. thanks so much. new year's plans are about to get colder, strong arctic blast is heading down from canada and will be here just in time so you can ring in 2014 pretty darned cold, windchills reaching down to 30 below.
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jennifer gray live in new york tracking the cold front. >> it is going to be cold, that cold air will stay in place as well, we have highs below zero, and highs below freezing as far east as say chicago, the great lakes areas so we're going to stay very cold. it's not going to go anywhere. kansas city 11, minneapolis 9 below zero, chicago one degree when you factor in the windchill it feels like ten below zero in chicago, 20 below in minneapolis. keep your eye on the pink area, that's the coldest air and it's going to stay in the north over the next couple of days as we get into the middle part of the week into the second half of the week it starts to usher towards the east you can see new york city at 34 degrees on thursday, your high temperature on friday 17, so temperatures are going to stay very, very cold. we have this clipper system that is going to pull lake-effect snow around the great lakes for
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tuesday, it's going to be out of here by wednesday and this is the one with the powerful punch you can see wednesday night it is still in the mississippi river valley, going to push to the east as we go to the second half of the week so very cold air with that one. for those of you ringing in the new year, the coldest temperatures like we mentioned are going to be up in the north, 39 degrees around midnight for atlanta so if you are ringing in the new year in the northeast, 32 degrees in new york, times square at midnight, when you factor in the windchill, it is going to feel like 14 in times square ringing in the new year. >> i have a feeling that won't stop anybody in times square. you've been there new years eave. >> a lot of folks will be codied up next to each other. >> lots of warm kisses with anyone you know. jennifer, thanks. >> exactly. the most successful driver in formula one history remains in a coma at a french hospital this morning, 44-year-old michael shoemaker fell and hit
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his head on a rock skiing this weekend. one of the doctors treating him says he was wearing a helmet taken definitely saved his life. >> i think that, given the violence of the shock, his helmet did partly protect him, certainly somebody who had this kind of accident without a helmet would not have reaped this stage. >> police are still investigating the cause of the accident. doctors say it's too early to determine shoemaker's progress. his family leased a family saying "we would like to thank the medical team who we know do erg possible to help michael." after a rocky start obama care is picking up momentum. more than 1 million people signed up using healthcare.gov.
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coverage is set to kick in wednesday, will people keep signing up or will the surge stall? athena jones joins us live from honolulu. >> reporter: good morning, kyra. the surge was made possible because healthcare.gov is working a lot better than it was than when it had the disastrous rollout in october. more than 1.1 million enrolled between october 1st and december 24th, with nearly 1 million of those coming this month alone. >> it changes my life. >> reporter: people like lauren ricin a 27-year-old marketing director from mccain, virginia, who suffers from crohn's disease. they enrolled are running into trouble on the website. her plan is dropping from $1,300 a n to $400.
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the government will release more complete numbers including figures from medicaid and state-run marketplaces next month but this latest surge of activity puts overall enrollment on pace to meet this bold prediction made before christmas. >> we have a couple million people, maybe more, who are going to have health care on january 1st, and that is a big deal. >> reporter: what's not clear is how many people still may not have coverage starting january 1st due to problems with the site the government has worked overtime to fix. and not everyone is celebrating the numbers. california republican darrell issa says too many people will be getting government subsidized care. >> the 318 million americans 1 million getting on subsidized health care in many cases probably another 1 million getting on medicaid as a result of obamacare and 6 million people who had plans they liked that have been thrown off of it, i don't think there's anything to celebrate.
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>> reporter: while the surge in enrollment is good news for the obama administration it will likely still fall short of the goal to sign up 3.3 million people by january 1st. those who missed last week's deadline for coverage starting in january have until january 15th to sign up for plans that start february 1st. open enrollment ends march 31st. this week the white house will be working with congressional democrats, outside organizations and high-profile supporters of the health care law to share the stories of people who are now going to be covered under obamacare and to tout the benefits of the law. >> athena, besides missing that sign-up goal, once coverage kicks in wednesday there will be a lot of other hurdles. >> reporter: well that's right. administration officials are saying they anticipate there could be some problems on january 1st, january 2nd with people showing up at health care facilities, showing up at pharmacies thinking they're could have had but finding out they're not because of some problem with their application.
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they say they have robust contingency plan in place like having clear lines of communication with the insurance companies between the administration and the insurance companies but of course we'll have to see how it plays out. >> i'm sure we'll be talking awe lot about it as well. thanks. a new poll suggests the war in afghanistan may be the most unpopular war in our nation's history, even more unpopular than the twicive vietnam war. according to a new cnn/orc poll only 17% of americans support u.s. involvement in afghanistan down from 52% in 2008. more people opposed the afghan war now than ever opposed the war in vietnam, a majority of americans say they favor pulling out of troops ahead of next year's deadline, since the war began in 2001, more than 2,000 u.s. troops have been killed. >> you've lived the stories and you made the call, we'll run down your list of the top stories of 2013 according to all of you viewers who weighed in at
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cnn.com, the results later this hour, that's about a half hour from now. still to come on "cnn newsroom," legal weed, colorado, and soccer moms, cnn's casey wian live in denver. pot shops are preparing from big business from the unexpected. casey? >> that's right, coup he rah, marijuana retailers expecting hundreds of millions of dollars in new business when pot becomes legal january 1st. [ male announcer ] the wright brothers started in a garage.
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ask your doctor if humira can work for you. this is humira at work. checking top stories investigators pouring over newly discovered surveillance videos to find talika patrick, failed to show up for work in early december and police found her aban donned car nearly 100 miles away. in the surveillance video patrick is seen standing in a hotel lobby for a few minutes before hopping on a shuttle bus. no one has heard from her since. a man suspected of robbing three banks across the country
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was suspected of threatening president obama in 2010. investigators believe that garnett shot and killed a plir in mississippi while trying to escape another bank holdup on monday. photo bomb by a shark are a day of shooting photos at the beach june emerson was looking back through her pictures, found this shot of a shark swimming by her son and a friend as they were playing in the water, just feet away, shark sightings are pretty common in california's manhattan beach but emerson says she was shocked when she saw the picture. and supreme court justice sonia sotomayor will lead the final 60-second countdown and press the ceremonial button to lower the iconic new year's eve ball. she is the third woman appointed to the high court and the first
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hispanic. a big change for the nation in less than 39 hours on january 1st, colorado legalizes marijuana. pot is the third most popular recreational drug in america. come this wednesday just about anybody in colorado who wants it will be able to buy it much like alcohol. legalization will not only create more pot heads but lead to violence and hurt our kids. the controversial drug will be taxed and regulated from seed to sale and as we speak hundreds of businesses are putting final touches on what they at least are hoping becomes a weed revolution. cnn's casey wian is live in denver. casey? >> kyra, marijuana sales for retail recreational use start january 1st, on wednesday, but even before that date this may be one of the most regulated businesses there is in this
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country. marijuana retailers have to be approved by both the state and local municipalities, cities, they have to go through all kinds of requirements, new packaging requirements, there's taxes, tracking requirements of their inventory, it's really a very difficult regulatory hurdle to overcome for these businesses, there are about 250 medical marijuana businesses in the city of denver, only 14 of those will be ready to sell retail recreational marijuana on january 1st. eventually this industry says it expects sales to double from about $300 million last year to $600 million this year. >> i think 30% of the new business will be from out of state and then we're going to have people like soccer moms coming in that like to smoke a joint after their kid's in bed and a lot of people who can get a card and shop legally if they
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want to use marriage marriage. >> another concern for these businesses and for city officials, security. this is largely a cash business and so some of the marijuana retailers have hired armed guards, the city of denver not talking about its security plans but say they are concerned about the prospect of people lining up outside these marijuana shops on january 1st with large amounts of cash they'll be watching closely. >> casey thanks so much. let's talk more about the angle about the cash business. joining me on colorado legal weed, defense attorney and constitutional attorney, thanks so much for joining me. i wanted you to get, that caught my attention about the cash business. barn banks are saying what? >> barngz arebanks are afraid to business because doing any transaction with money that comes from illegal drugs is still illegal. if the bampnks were to take the
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money and move it to another branch or state that remains illegal. that's why it's all cash and they need the extra security. >> what kind of legal predictions are you making? i'm reading ski resorts are afraid of people smoking weed and they're on the slopes to drivers driving under the influence, families are freaked out about that. what do you think? >> colorado is trying to address that in the regulations they put forth that will go into effect january 1. driving under the influence they set a specific level of five nanograms of thc in your blood, that's illegal. they left it up to small jurisdictions and municipalities to prohibit retail operations in their jurisdiction. they're trying to do all of this to stay off the federal radar. the feds are going to be watching. remember, it is still illegal to possess, sell, distribute marijuana under federal law.
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it's a schedule one drug. the only way the feds will stay out of colorado, if colorado puts into place these strong regulations and follows them to a "t." >> interesting. so what about our kids? how are they going to regulate our children? i was reading that up to 60% of kids across the country now have no problem smoking pot. they see it as okay? >> it remains illegal under colorado law for someone under the age of 21 to have marijuana so it's still illegal to do that but the perception is going to change. kids will see the fact that marriage marriage is becoming legal in certain states, i think the fear of marijuana is going to go away to the extent it ever was there and perhaps we will see more chirp using marijuana and that's one of the things that could pose a problem with this law. if the feds think more kids are getting marijuana, other states see that happening in colorado, there may be a back lash against legalization. >> that's going to be really interesting to see how this plays out.
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lot of people are paying attention to how this will impact crime and violence. page thanks so much. still to come a new plan to rescue stranded researchers in the antarctic. chinese helicopters going to help pluck them to safety, next. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too. [ female announcer ] today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everything works like never before.
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chinese helicopters en route hoping to rescue 52 passengers and four crew members from the ship stranded in antarctica, that announcement follows another attempt by an ice breaker to reach the vessel, an australian ice breaker turned around earlier today due to bad weather. senior international correspondent matthew chance has the latest. >> reporter: the weather is minus 1 and blowing snow. overnight another setback for the latest rescue mission. the australian ice breaker ship forced to turn back to open water after worsening blizzard conditions made it too dangerous for the ship to continue. it came close within ten nautical miles of the stranded
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research ship before having to retreat back 18 miles. recertain expedition leader chris turney expressed concerns about harsh weather working against them. >> unfortunately the weather forecast means other conditions will continue for the next few days. >> reporter: all rescue efforts including air lifting out passengers by helicopter on hold until visibility improves. the research team sets out to study climate change and retrace the steps. on christmas eve, just 100 miles from where they started, their ship came to a halt, stuck in ten-foot-high ice and they haven't budged since. >> what's that on the horizon, chris in. >> that's the ice breaker coming to rescue us. >> brilliant. >> reporter: the crew spotted the first rescue ship from china known as the "snow dragon" but
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their hopes were quickly dashed. it was six miles away and couldn't get any closer due to the unusually thick ice. french vessel's mission was called off after the ship wouldn't get farther than the chinese boat. we're in the ice but all the well, happy christmas. >> reporter: still spirits on the boat remain high. crew members and passengers channeling their energies and posts on social media creating video diaries for family members and telling everyone that they're having a great time. >> it's my birthday today, it couldn't be a better day to have a birthday with my 80 something new friends, singing on the ice, should be fantastic as well but it's spectacular here, it's like this magical winter wonderland. >> reporter: the team's spirits is fantastic, it really has. we've carefully chosen people together we thought would get along well, weren't expecting such a severe test of the
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community spirit but earn's kept good morale. spirit and hope is keeping up. even though the latest rescue attempt ended prematurely there's a statement from the russian foreign ministry the decision has been taken to evacuate 52 of the passengers and four of the crew members by helicopters that are based on the chinese ice breaker, the "snow dragon" who attempted to reach the ship a few days ago only if the weather changes and weather permits >> matthew, some folks have to stay on that ship, right? they can't completely evacuate it? >> i think it's just a sense in which they want to end this nightmare i suppose for as many people as they possibly can without abandoning the ship to the pristine antarctic environment. they have plenty of food on board. obviously just 18 people left, a
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sort of skeleton crew, there will be plenty more food and water so they could last several weeks on that ship. the ship is not in any structural danger so they want to wait for the weather to change, for the ice to break and sail out of there. >> you know the scientists, they want to fin ush theish their re. they do not want to let the mission go undone. >> exactly, they've been doing experiments on the salt content of the water, the temperature of the water throughout this ordeal, and i expect they will be continuing to do that until the last moment. >> matthew chance, thanks so much. still to come it's what one representative calls a "complex picture" about who is responsible in the september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. new report stirring more debate over what should have been done to prevent that attack. jill dougherty is following that report. >> reporter: the beb ghazi
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troers hitting again or a "new york times" in-depth report, that after the break.
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good morning everyone. thanks for joining us. i'm kyra phillips in for carol costello. two top intelligence officials are taking issue with a new report that says al qaeda was not behind the 2012 attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. four americans including the u.s. ambassador were killed. "new york times" report says the attack was lukely carried out by independent libyan militias and those fighters were infuriated by a movie called "innocence of muslims" but "the times" report questions the early claims from the white house. cnn's jill dougherty at the state department with more. jill? >> kyra, the benghazi issue has gone beyond just being a news story. it's really a major political issue and this "new york times" report is sumplis simply heatin. the "new york times" investigation calls into question claims made by both republicans and the white house
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about what happened in libya on september 11th a year ago. the newspaper finds fault with the republican case saying there's no evidence that al qaeda had any role, that local militias and looters were to blame, that an anti-muslim video did play a role motivating the attackers at least in part and that the attack was not meticulously planned but neither was it spontaneous nor was it without warning signs. the intelligence report shows al qaeda was involved. >> there was aspiration to conduct an attack by al qaeda and their affiliates in libya. we know that. the individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound. >> reporter: the top democrat on the house intelligence committee agrees but says it's a complex picture. >> intelligence indicates al qaeda was involved but there were also plenty of people and militias that were unaffiliated with al qaeda that were involved. >> reporter: "the times" also says, however, it was not a
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copycat of street protests in egypt against the american made anti-muslim video, as then u.n. ambassador susan rice suggested on sunday talk shows. >> our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> reporter: the obama white house isn't commenting or disputing "the times" report which notably does not mention then secretary of state hillary clinton. >> what difference at this point does it make? >> reporter: but former white house national security spokesman tommy veader blasted republican demands for benghazi hearings and for their claims that the obama administration was lying. tweeting "they were wrong" and "we could have avoided months of discussing demagoguery." this report uses the word murky and saying that it really goes beyond the black and white
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pictures that either the republicans or the white house depict and of course that murkiness is going to guarantee that this will be fueled for a long time to come. kyra? >> jill dougherty thanks so much. stories we're watching in "the newsroom" another deadly terrorist bombing in southern russia kills at least 14 people this morning, coming a day after another deadly blast killed 17 people in the same city. no one has claimed responsibility for those attacks. in six weeks sochi winter olympics are set to begin about had 00 miles from these bombings. bitter cold and wind across the midwest with terps dipping to 20, 30 degrees below zero in some areas. this arctic cold will turn east just in time for the if you year. opening up on wall street traders have two days until the close of the year, things are expected to be quiet today with trading rel toughly flat, so far this year, all three indexes have risen more than 25%.
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on wednesday obamacare coverage kicks in for americans across the country and more than 1 million people have signed up on healthcare.gov, despite the site's disastrous rollout. the white house says the boost in enrollees is a welcome surge but is it really enough and will people continue to sign up? i want to bring in cnn political analyst and executive editor of the daily beast john avalon and patricia murphy, contribute i don't are for the daily beast. john, the reality it is most of the new enrollees are older and sicker than administration officials were hoping for, so in order to make obamacare economically viable, young people have to sign up sore this could implode. what does the white house need to do to win the younger, healthier people over and get signed up? >> no more pajama boy ads for one, that was truly lame.
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they hit a milestone with 1 million but can't be content. there is a long way to go for 7 million and the threat of the penalty isn't sufficient. they need to go on offense without pandering and make clear this makes sense. the catastrophic option that is inexpensive is one of the hurdles this legislation faces. young people are key to making this marketplace work. there is a lot of room for improvement. >> in addition to that, pa trishia, you write about the digital dwight between obamacare and the hispanic population. "even when the federal enrollment tools become available in spanish, some state-run exchanges like the one operated by new york state will continue to be english only. some of the states with the highest hispanic populations and highest rate of uninsured of the country opted out of the medicaid expansion offered
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through the affordable care act that have to affected hundreds of thousands of young low income hispanics." wow. >> when we talk about young voters it's not the any lepial store yes type. president obama said sponsor a happy hour, tell your friends on facebook and twitter. >> get drunk and deal with the website that already has issues, it will become more confusing, makes perfect sense. >> the key to enrolling in the latino voters and enough latino people, the young population for hispanics is enormous, nearly 50% are under the age of 27 so when you're looking for your young healthy group that is less likely to have insurance, those are latino voters and the obama administration almost had a total failure for that, the website was delayed getting up and running, had poor outreach to the latino community, they're trying to ramp that back up but that is a major segment of the
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population being ignored. important to note all any lepials have a high unemployment rate than most americans. they simply don't think they can afford health insurance of any price and the $95 penalty looks better than signing up for health care they don't think they can afford. >> john, how about midterm elections. democrats are scrambling to hold onto their majority come 2014. you look at the polls majority of americans say obama care is the latest problem. 62% polled opposed the new health care law, only 35% are in favor. how are dems going to make obamacare a selling point? >> first of all the polls are moving in the wrong direction and the trend is not the administration's friend. the flawed rollout did leave a mark on this plan. once this plan starts to take effect if the enrollments are high enough that people will
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realize obama care does not mean the end of the republic and freedom as we know it. if if folks start to realize maybe they overstated the case how this was a fundamental threat to freedom they may start to focus on the benefits of the law. this is a jump ball moment and will be through the end of march. it's far from clear at this point obamacare will be a net negative for democrats. >> you mentioned the republicans, darrell issa's response to the boost in obama care numbers quickly, let's listen. >> there's 318 million americans, 1 million getting on subsidized health care in many cases, probably another 1 million getting on medicaid as a result of obama care and 6 million people who had plans they liked thrown off of it. i don't think there's anything to celebrate. >> final thought, and the white house is expecting problems come wednesday. >> people in the white house are waiting to see what is under the
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next rock. when they go to the doctors and think they have insurance do they have insurance, can they go to the doctor they thought they wanted to? the white house knows success breeds success. they need to push out success stories but there are not as many as they want to have. i agree it could go either way. >> patricia, john, thanks so much, guys. >> take care, kyra. still to come, we'll run down your list of the top stories of 2013 according to our viewers, weigh in at cnn.com, the results after the break. we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow.
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from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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we are now in the last couple days of 2013, it has gone fast, right and there's been a lot of stories left us fascinated, frustrated, sometimes flabbergasted. alina machado whittled down the list to the top ten that impacted us this past year and joins us with the rundown. >> for three weeks we asked you viewers to vote on the top stories of 2013 and the results are in. number ten you chose the u.s. supreme court's historic decision to strike down a key part of the defense of marriage act the vote paved the way for same-sex couples legally married to receive the same federal benefits given to heterosexual
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couples, edid windsor is the woman behind the lawsuit called the ruling a victory, this is her in the red scarf outside the supreme court, celebrating that decision. who can forget amanda berry's chilling call for help? the cleveland house of horrors comes in at viewers number nine, berry, gina dejesus and michel knight were held in captivity for years, aerial castro was sentenced to life and later killed himself in his prison cell. >> we'll hear more from one of the survivors, just aside from the fact that all three spoke we heard from them, they all told their chilling stories, the book is probably going to be fascinating. >> i can't imagine how difficult it was to go through some of that but michelle knight is going to be releasing a book.
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she's the first woman kidnapped and the longest to be held, 11 years in captivity. knight and her fellow captives each kept a diary during that ordeal. >> can you imagine and the fact they were able to do that and he didn't fine them or punish them or take the risk to write about it and it's mind boggling to me. it's a great story of strength. lot will want to read it and be inspired. >> i'll be there. >> what with number eight? >> chosen by you and the video says it all, disturbing images of children in the aftermath of what appears to be a chemical weapons attack in syria, the united nations confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the syrian civil war. the conflict xwan in march of 2011 and claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people. typhoon hirksian's number five,
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one of the most powerful storms to hit land sni where in the world, more than 6,000 dead, more than 27,000 injured, millions more left without a home. we head pack to the u.s. for number six, obamacare, the rollout was plagued with criticism following major problems with the program's website. >> oh, yes, this is a huge impact op. 2014. nervous white house right now. >> we have a nervous white house and nervous congress. 2014 is midterm election year so there are swing states here especially some democrats probably nervous this time around. >> didn't we just go through an election? that happened fast. >> time flies. >> that was six through ten and you'll have what made the cut for the top five right after the break, right? >> that's right. >> we'll be right back.
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and welcome back. 2013 almost in the history books, but it's been quite a year of big stories that impacted all of our lives and, of course, to help us shape 2014, right? running down the top five stories of the past year. we got six through ten and now one through five. >> right to the list as cnn.com
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voters ranked them. the federal government shutdown sits at your number five. about 800,000 federal employees furloughed, more than a l million others forced to work without knowing when they'd get paid. federal museums and parks closed. standards and poors says took $24 billion out of the economy. the high school dropout who worked as a defense contractor comes in at voters number four. edward snowden will go down in h history as the man who spilled the classified program. he leaked documents showing the nsa was both collecting phone records and e-mailing internet traffic of virtually all americans. some believe snowden is a hero. others call him a traitor. he was born in south africa but he belonged to the world. nelson mandela's third is the
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third top story of 2013 according to those who voted on cnn.com. the world came together to mourn the 95-year-old's passing and remember his life, a symbol of the struggle against racial oppression and an inspiration to many. the boston mayrathon bombin comes in at your number two. april 15 is a day we will never forget. three people killed. more than 260 wounded after two bombs exploded near the finish line. the hunt for the suspected bombers gripped the nation for several days. 26-year-old tamerlan tsarnaev was killed in a shoot-out with police. his 19-year-old brother, dzhokhar tsarnaev was captured and is awaiting trial on federal charg charges. he has pleaded not guilty. and the emergence of an unconventional leader of the catholic church is your top story of 2013. pope francis became the 266th pontiff, the first latin american to take the title. his remarks on homosexuals and
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his repeated acts of compassion including his embrace of the severely disfigured man have made headlines around the world. the 77-year-old pontiff was named "time" magazine's person of the year. >> i still have that vision of him with the homeless man he brought to his apartment on his birthday of all times. it was funny, we were talking about this with the international correspondent. yeah, the homeless person was even allowed to bring his dog with him. he embraced everybody. he is definitely an unconvent n unconventional man, isn't he? >> he is unconventional. i think his popularity is largely due to the fact that people can relate with him, right? he's very approachable and he's kind of the people's pope, which is the way it should be, right? >> absolutely. thanks alina. you can check out the entire list of the year's top stories on c th n.com. still to come the nfl regular season is over. now comes the ax for several head coaches. black monday is what it's cal d called. we'll talk about that next.
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welcome back. black monday in full swing. no, that's not a shopping day. unfortunately, it means a lot of coaches getting the -- right, andy? >> today is not a day head coaches in the nfl look forward to and the latest coach to get the ax mike shanahan with the redskins.
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they announced it just moments ago. now shanahan coached the team for four seasons. he only made the playoffs once at the helm of the skins. that was last year. they went 3-13. shanahan has had an up-and-down relationship with rg3. many question the way he's handled his knee injury and now shanahan is fired. shanahan's the fourth coach to be let go this season joining the minnesota vikings leslie frazier, rob chud zzinski and gy kubiak. ten teams were fighting for four playoff spots as the nfl regular season wrapped up. two matchups were basically playoff games, the cowboys and eagles and the packers and bears in a win and you're in scenario. now after missing seven weeks with a broken collarbone, aaron rodgers was back under center for green bay and, kyra, i'm sure you know, he came through in the clutch for the packers. this was on fourth and eight. he found randall cobb in stride for the 48-yard it htouchdown.
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an incredible play. >> the packers are known to do that. that's my pack. >> what a clutch win. 33-28 was the final. the packers now head iing back the playoffs. cowboys/eagles. tony romo is out for the year with that back injury. a winner take all. down late in this one orton finds dez bryant for the 32-yard touchdown. the cowboys missed the two-point conversion, still down by two. they get the ball with the chance to go down and win the game. but cowboys fans have seen this before. orton throws the interception. owner jerry jones is not very happy in his luxurious suite. the cowboys will miss the playoffs. eagles win, 24-22. now the pittsburgh steelers, their chances of making the playoffs were very slim. they needed to win, have the dolphins, raiders, and chargers all lose. very tough. but all those scenarios were about to play out, but then the chiefs' kicker miss add very makeable field goal. only 41 yards and he missed it. he should have got a chance to rekick it because the chargers
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had too many guys on one side of the ball. that's a pent. but it wasn't flagged. the chargers win the game in overtime, clinched the last playoff spot leaving the steelers fans devastated because they thought they were going to make it. a look at the playoff skchedule. saturday the colts will host the chiefs followed by the eagles hosting the saints and then on sunday the bengals host the chargers. here are your packers going to renew with the 49ers. that game will be at lambeau field. >> the best place ever for a football game. >> also the coldest place. >> yes, it is. >> all right. bleacherreport.com, peyton manning's amazing season. yesterday against the raiders he threw for 266 yards breaking drew brees' record for yards in a season. what an amazing year. he holds the records for yards in a season, touchdowns in a season. the broncos have scored more points than any team ever. that doesn't always mean you'll make it to the super bowl. only one team has won the super bowl and that's the rams in 199.
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we'll see if they can buck that trend. >> you never know. he's had a pretty good year. should we talk more about the packers? >> i'm sure you would like to. >> see the guys in the yellow helmet. great to see you, andy. next hour of "cnn newsroom" begins right now. and good morning. i'm kyra phillips in for carol costello. many of you may want to stay indoors to ring in 2014. i'll tell you what, i'm shivering just looking at the video. drivers in north dakota got hit with near whiteout conditions as a blizzard rolled through there this weekend. and new year's eve, it's not going to be that much better. temps will drop and snow could be in the picture for a lot of people. jennifer gray live in new york with more. hey, jennifer. >> reporter: very, very cold around the great lakes as well. highs will be below zero across
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the northern plains. and highs will be anywhere from one degree below zero to 30 across the great lakes. and that is your high temperature. and look at this. current temperatures, kansas city, 13. 9 below zero in minneapolis when you factor in the windchill it feels like 24 degrees below zero. in minneapolis right now feeling like 9 degrees below zero in chicago this very cold air is not going anywhere anytime soon. it is going to stick around the north, the great lakes over the next couple of days. by tomorrow 14 in chicago, your high temperature will warm up to 26 degrees. by wednesday. look at thursday, though. you can see the shades of pink moving into the northeast. new york city, your high on thursday, 34 degrees. and then 17 for a high temperature on friday. a couple of these clipper systems roll through the north. another one in the process tuesday into wednesday should be out of here by the 1st. this is what we're going to be
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looking for, though, to usher in very, very chilly temperatures as we go into the second half of the week. if you are ringing in new year's, here are your midnight temperatures across the country. temperatures in the 30s and 40s across the south. cooler in the north. if you happen to be in new york city around mid might, 29 degrees, feeling like 20. kyra? jennifer, thanks so much. on a new mission to rescue people stuck on that research ship in the antarctic, a chinese helicopter will airlift 52 passengers and four crew members from that ship as soon as the weather gets better. russian officials announced that the plan following another attem attempt. 7 had peop4 people have been st. they're making do and they're keeping up their spirits. >> that's the icebreaker coming to rescue us.
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>> brilliant. >> cute but, of course, that chinese icebreaker didn't reach them. still, the crew and passengers kept a pretty positive attitude. >> hi, everybody. it's mary here from antarctica having a wonderful time. you can see we have this wonderful, snowy wonderland. it's my birthday today. it couldn't be a better day to have a birthday with my 80-something new friends. blew out all the candles on my birthday cake which was heaps of fun. and i'm out on the ice today. the research ship left on december 8 to study the effects of climate change. we'll keep you updated. and on wednesday obamacare finally goes into effect. this morning there's good news for the white house. more than 1 million people have signed up on healthcare.gov tess piety the site's rocky rollout. but is it enough? and will the obama administration be able to keep up the pace? still a lot of critics out there. cnn's athena jones joins us from honolu honolulu. >> reporter: good morning, kyra.
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that big jump in enrollment we're hearing about, health officials say that's all possible because the federal exchange healthcare.gov is working a lot better than it was after that disastrous october rollout. healthcare.gov may finally be hitting its stride. health officials say more than 1.1 million people enrolled through the federal exchange between october 1 and december 2 24. with nearly a million of those coming this month alone. >> it changes my life. >> reporter: people like lauren, a marketing director who suffers from chron's disease. starting january 1, her premium is dropping from $1,300 a month to $400. >> it gives me the option to finally possibly move out of my parents' house at age 27. >> reporter: the government will release more complete numbers including figures for medicaid and statd run next month.
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this latest surge of activity puts overall enrollment on pace to meet this bold prediction made before christmas. >> i now have a couple million people, maybe more, who are going to have health care on january 1. and that is a big deal. >> reporter: what's not clear is just how many people still may not have coverage starting january 1 due to problems with the site the government has worked overtime to fix. and not everyone is celebrating the numbers. california republican darrell issa says too many people will be getting government subsidized care. >> there's 318 million americans. 1 million getting on 0 subsidized health care in many cases, probably another million getting on medicaid as a result of obamacare and 6 million people who had plans they liked that have been thrown off of it. i don't think there's anything to celebrate. >> reporter: and while the surge in enrollment is good news for the obama administration, it will likely still fall short of the goal to sign up 3.3 million
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people by january 1. those who missed last week's deadline for coverage starting in january, have until january 15 to sign up for plans that start february 1. open enrollment ends march 31. now as part of a new push to encourage people to sign up, the white house is going to be working with congressional democrats, outside groups, and other high-level supporters of the health care law this week to share the stories of people who are going to be covered because of obama care and to tout the law's benefits. kyra? >> athena jones from honolulu, thanks so much. for the second time in two days terrorists have struck in russia sending a pretty chilling message just weeks before the winter olympics there had. at least 14 people died when a bomb exploded aboard this trolley bus during rush hour. the blast so great that it stripped the bus down to its frame. just yesterday commuters were targeted in this bombing that killed 17 people inside the main train station in volgograd, the city once known as stalingrad.
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the message is prettygograd is . if you're traveling, you have to travel through there in order to get to sochi. a former assistant director of the fbi now serving as our law enforcement analyst, tom, you're familiar with the massive challenges, shall we say, of olympic security. as fbi commander in atlanta at the time of the bombings in 1996, what do you think about these bombings, and do they make you nervous? >> good morning, kyra. i was one of the assistant directors in '96. it makes you nervous because there's so little that russia can do to protect every single possible travel route to the venue. sochi is a small town of about 350,000 population and it's along the black sea and actually has a very warm climate.
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there's a fear it won't be cold enough to have snow but the venues are out of town. the skating event is 17 miles out of town and the skiing and bobsled avents are 29 miles and you have to travel on a two-lane road through the mountains to get there so that travel, the transport to get to the venues makes everybody vulnerable on the road. and going through the rail and airport hubs to get to sochi is also going to create vulnerability. i think that's the message the terrorists are sending here is that 400 miles away when people try to catch a train to go there, they're going to be vulnerable. now that train station has metal detectors. so the attack that happened two days ago was actually in a waiting area before you even go through the metal detectors. so, yes, this sends a very chilling message to the athletes, coaches, media, and the public that will be attending these olympics. >> okay. so what happens now then?
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added security takes money. what will be the next step and for those who want to go to the olympics, what's your advice? >> well, i don't know. i guess you're going to hope that the russians allow enough other countries to assist, including the united states, to assist in providing security at the multiple venues and transport hubs to get there, but it's going to be a very difficult situation. the problem you have here, which you did not have in atlanta and in earlier olympics, was you have a terror group claiming as early as last july, their leader saying we're going to disrupt the olympics. and apparently that may be in progress from this terror group based in the kcaucuses nearby. >> tom fuentes, thank you for the insight. still to come, win and you're in. lose and you might be fired. it's pretty busy black monday as we've been talking about. disappointing seasons end with several nfl head coaches being
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cruise ship passenger jumped overboard. the coast guard is trying to locate the canadian man who leapt into the water saturday night. security cameras actual ly captured him jumping off the royal caribbean's "add ven turp -- "adventure of the seas." widespread activity has leaped from four states to ten. the ones highlighted in yellow there. and this season is shaping up to be pretty dangerous, the most common strain is h1n1, which is blamed in the deaths of at least four children over the last few months. it was a thrilling weekend in the nfl. ten teams and only four playoff spots available and the number of head coaches have been shown the door. it's what a lot of people call black friday. washington redskins coach mike shanahan the latest to be let go. the team's number 3-13 record is their third losing season in only four years. cnn's rachel nichols joining us live out of new york. i know you've interviewed hem a number of times, rachel.
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>> reporter: yeah, absolutely. this is not an unexpected firing but still something that is sending reverberations around the envelonfl. and it's the end of a very bitter and what had become a very unhappy marriage. the washington redskins finished on an eight-game losing streak. that's the worst they finished a season in more than 50 years. and such a striking turnaround from just last year when they won seven straight. all kinds of unbridled enthusiasm around the city, the young quarterback, robert griffin iii, setting the whole town on fire. but he was injured toward the end of the season after they clinched the division title l, injured in a playoff game. mike shanahan criticized for the way he handled that injury. criticized for the way he handled griffin's knee injury going forward. and shanahan on his part had problems with the closeness between his young quarterback and the owner, dan snyder. that mushroomed into huge problems throughout this season. and really just a debacle today.
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dan snyder, the owner, says fans desefb better. i'm sure there's a lot of people around washington who feel exactly that way. snyder will be hiring his eighth coach, kyra, eighth coach, since he took over the team in 1999. >> i guess we have to wait and see if it will make a tifrns. i have to ask you about michael schumaker. we were talking a lot about this this morning and it led us to talk a lot about his accidents in the past and this time he was even wearing a helmet when he was skiing. what do we know, rachel, about his condition and what happened? >> reporter: this really is so sad and for people in the united states who aren't as familiar with michael schumaker, we have to stress this is one of the most famous, accomplished athletes in the world. he is the greatest driver in the history of formula 1, one of the most popular sports in the world. he's earned an incredible amount of money, endorsements, just such a face around so many parts of the globe. and just in his mid-40s now he
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is in a critical, critical state in the hospital. doctors saying they are going hour by hour whether he is going to survive. his coma at the moment, they say, is medically induced but that's because of swelling in his brain and other problems that they're having there with his treatment at the hospital and, as you say, he was wearing a helmet. just so shocking that this is a guy who never suffered a crash it shall an injury like this in any kind of crash while he was doing what was arguably one of the most dangerous sports we have. and his other major injury didn't come in racing. he was in a serious motorcycle accident when he was motorcycling for fun a few years back. he did something so dangerous for a living, was never seriously injured, and now has had what is his second and much, much more serious injury and something that there are many people around the world waiting with baited breath to see what happens here because he's a dear, dear icon to them. >> skiing the french alps, falls, hits his head on a rock. it's pretty unbelievable. rachel nichols, thanks so much.
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let's talk more about schumaker's injuries, shall we? a professor of neurosurgery at the university of miami. so, doc, apparently his doctors say he was wearing this helmet and it possibly saved his life. what are your thoughts? >> yeah, i think that's undoubtedly true. the most important thing that people can do to mitigate the effect of an injury is to wear the helmet. and, as you just mentioned earlier, i think that probably his long racing career and the use of helmets, racing helmets have changed the way we think about helmets. hopefully that did mitigate the effect of this terrible injury. >> what kind of treatment is there for an injury like this as you read about his case and see what he's up against right now? >> right. well, there are things that we can to and, you know, it's about 80% likely of would have had a blood clot, the thing most likely changing him from being able to walk immediately after the injury to a comatose
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condition quickly would be hemorrhage into the skull. and so for that the usual treatment is to do what we call a craniotomy and allow the brain to swell. if it was not a blood clot, and of course we don't have personal details yet, if it was not a blood clot it could simply be brain swelling from a bruise, bruises anywhere on the body will swell. but in the brain it's especially lethal because the brain is contained in that bony box. so we have to open the box. we have to decompress the brain and so, again, that means opening the skull. and then the medically induced coma means really putting the brain to sleep, preventing such things as seizures. i hear, also, that he is being cooled. he's undergoing hypothermia in order to damp down brain metabolism and try to mitigate swelling, inflammation, secondary changes. >> it sounds like you've sort of mentioned two possibilities of
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what is happening, could have happened here. what would be the better case scenario and what's recovery like when you go through a traumatic blow to the head like this? >> right. well, you know, the best scenario is an epidural hematoma, a blood clot that develops between the brain coverings and the skull. so outside of the brain. about nine out of ten such patients make a good recovery. however, hearing about the measures that they're needing to take i guess suggests maybe that's not the case. there are other types of blood clot that have a worse prognosis, and if it's one of those, for example, subdural hematoma, bleeding into the brain itself, then the recovery can be very long, three months would be typical. many patients say they have to relearn how to use their body again, relearn how to speak and walk. one good thing it seems the maximum amount of the injury was
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on the right side of his head, and most of us are right-handed and, therefore, dominant on the left side. so that's something in his favor and, of course, as others have said he's young, fit, strong, all of that will help a tremendous amount. >> well, and of course all the love and prayers from his family. his family is there and he has fans around the world rooting for him as well. dr. ross bullock, thank you for your time today. >> thank you so much. >> you bet. straight ahead, legal weed, colorado, and sock he moms. cnn's casey wayian preparing for big business from, casey, shall we say the unexpected? >> reporter: marijuana retailers are expecting hundreds of millions of dollars in new business when pot becomes legal for recreational use in colorado. we'll tell you who their new customers will be coming up. ♪ i want to spread a little love this year ♪ [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of unsurpassed craftsmanship
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a big change for the nation in less than 39 hours. on january 1, colorado starts selling marijuana for recreational use. pot, by the way, is already the
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third most popular recreational drug in america. but come this wednesday, just about anyone in colorado who wants it will be able to buy marijuana in stores much like alcohol. anti-drug crusaders are arguinging that legalization will not only cruiserweigeate m potheads, lead to violence and hurt our kids. it will be taxed and regulated from seed to sale and, as we speak hundreds of businesses across the state are working toward what they at least are hoping becomes a weed revolution. cnn's casey wian has the latest for us. >> reporter: it's a big day for tim cullen. >> i liken it to graduation. it's been a tremendous amount of work to get to this point. >> reporter: he's joining a handful of business owners receiving denver's first licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use starting january 1. >> that's information that needs to go to every customer that comes in and buys marijuana. all right. congratulations. >> appreciate it. >> reporter: at cullen's medical
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marijuana store employees scramble to get ready. pot retailers must navigate so many regulations only 14 of about 250 medical marijuana businesses in denver have received one of these, a license to sell to anyone over 21. there are multiple inspections, packaging requirements, and, in some cases, new construction. >> we're building an absolutely impressive showcase for the world to see that this is an industry. this is not an underground business. >> reporter: at medicine man all the pot sold is grown on site. >> customers don't want it really leafy. they like it anyways, tight and dense. >> reporter: it's hiring 25 new employees. >> just get some of this and smoke it in small quantities. >> reporter: and installing new equipment. >> we have to tag all these plants with an rfid tag, radio frequency identification, and so it's another inventory control that we have to implement here. this is a light tight, airtight container. >> wow.
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>> the smell will hit you probably from there. >> reporter: there's a little bit of a sour milk smell to it. is that -- am i wrong? >> no. some people like stuff that are really stinky. >> reporter: each container holds about $7,500 worth of marijuana so it's no wonder medicine man has an armed former army ranger guarding the front door. >> i think next year we'll have about 2 to 2 1/2 times more business than this year. >> reporter: a service for retailers predicts price also spike. >> demand is going to be very high on day one with a potential shortage of supply, priceses will go up. >> reporter: lines are expected pot stores january 1. >> we're going to have cookies and coffee set out. >> will the cookies be laced with anything? >> absolutely not. my parents volunteered to come down and hand out cookies and coffee. >> reporter: no one is expect
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ing a marijuana mardi gras. >> it's still illegal to drive impaired, to take it out of state, to resell it, to give it to anyone under 21, or consume publicly. >> reporter: the city says it's prepared. >> we haven't seen an impact from medical marijuana and we don't expect to see that. >> reporter: medical marijuana was sold in 2013. the industry expects sales to more than double next year. >> casey joining us now live from denver. all right, casey, some interesting new customers to be expected. >> reporter: that's right, kyra. medical marijuana dealers who are now becoming reck raegsal retail marijuana sellers say they're expecting about 30% of their new business to come from marijuana tourists, people from out of state, maybe even from out of the country who are going to come into colorado. they also say they're going to get a lot of new business from people who have not wanted to go through the hassle and expense of getting a medical marijuana card and then to quote one of the big retailers, he's
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expecting a lot of business from soccer moms who just want to smoke a joint after they put their kids to bed, kyra. >> you know, those soccer games can be pretty darned stressful, ca casey. i don't know about you. rp. >> reporter: absolutely. >> i'm just curious before i let you go, a lot of people coming in to get weed, but i've heard from locals there not a lot of people are real happy about this and they're thinking about getting out of the state. >> reporter: well, i haven't heard of getting out of the state because of the fact that marijuana for retail sales is becoming legal or retailers getting out of the state and trying to open businesses elsewhere. i'm not clear what you're asking. >> people worried about what it will do to their state, like the family dynamic, right, that they don't want to be on the road worrying about someone smoking and driving or some mechanic working on their car smoking and installing their brakes. it's a family concern is what i've seen. >> reporter: absolutely. there are a lot of concerns from people about that. the whole issue of driving while under the influence of marijuana
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is very controversial, how much marijuana in your system would trigger a positive test? it's very, very controversial here. also, i will point out, though, that the industry says the statistics show that since medical marijuana has become so prevalent in colorado that many problems such as teen drug use and driving under the influence of alcohol have actually gone down. they argue that it's actually going to be a benefit for public safety in the state of colorado, kyra. >> it will be interesting to watch. casey, thanks so much. well, still to come, terrorists strike and tensions climb. in russia as concerns grow over the upcoming winter games. that's right. it's 39 days until the games begin. can russian authorities keep athletes and visitors safe after terrori terrorists strike a city not that far from sochi. more on that in a moment. i'm only in my 60's.
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for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. and welcome back to "the news am roroo newsroom." terrorists have struck in russia sending an ominous message weeks
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before the winter olympics there. at least 14 people died when a bomb exploded aboard the trolley bus. during this morning's rush hour and just yesterday commuters were targeted in this bombing that killed 17 people inside the main train station in volgograd. it's more than 400 miles from sochi where the winter olympics will be held in less than six weeks. but because volvo grad is a major rail hub, travelers will travel through on the way to sochi. cnn's diana magnay, have there been any claims of responsibility? >> reporter: hi, kyra, no, not yet. authorities are telling us that they do believe the two attacks are linked because if you look at the explosives themselves apparently the shrapnel which they both included was identical. and it is quite possible that the attackers like so many others who since 2000 have launched terrorist attacks on
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russian soil come from russia's troubled north caucasus region. two deadly terror attacks in volgograd in less than 24 hours. this morning's attack on a crowded trolley bus in morning rush hour. more than a dozen killed. authorities say the blast the work of a suicide bomber, possibly detonating his device towards the back end of the bus where the damage seems worse. many onboard were students. this is exam time in russia. among the injured a baby in serious condition. this follows another attack at noon on sunday in volgograd's main railway station, the moment of the explosion caught on surveillance video. 17 people were killed in that blast. authorities saying that was also the work of a suicide bomber. these attacks come less than six weeks before the start of the winter games in sochi which is around 400 miles southwest of volgograd. russia's president, vladimir putin, has vowed the highest possible security around the games themselves in the town of sochi.
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but it is clearly hard to police the whole of southern russia to the same level. russia is fating an islamic insurgency in the north caucasus. russia's most wanted man vladimir markin in the north caucasus threatened to unleash maximum force. the u.s. state department has a $5 million reward out for him. former intelligence officials believe more attacks are possible. >> i think if we don't see an attempt on the olympics i would be surprised. >> reporter: even if it means terrorists may not be able to strike there, they're proving themselves more than capable of spreading maximum father ahead of the games themselves targeting other cities in the region with deadly results. and, kyra, russian officials say they're not going to change their security measures around sochi as a result of these attacks, that they are high enough, they have things like fan i.d.s they'll be distributing to everybody and
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there are some very stringent security checks going on there. the head of the international olympic committee has written a letter to the president of this country expressing his condolences and saying he was confident authorities here could deliver a safe and secure games. but if the terrorists point is to spread fear ahead of the gam games, that is certainly what they have done and also just around a key russian holiday, the new year, kyra. >> diana magnay, thanks so much. two top house intelligence officials are taking ib you with a new report that says al qaeda was not hyped the 2012 attack on the u.s. consulate in ben gazy. four were killed in that attack. now a "new york times" report says the attack was likely carried out by independent libyan militias and that those fighters were infuriated by a movie called innocence of musli muslims. the report also questions the early claims from the white house.
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cnn's jill dougherty with more. jill? >> reporter: well, kyra, republicans are firing back at that "new york times" report continuing to claim that the obama administration lied to the american people. the "new york times" investigation calls into question claims made by both republicans and the white house about what happened in libya on september 11 a year ago. the newspaper finds fault with the republican case saying there's no evidence that al qaeda had any role. that the local militias and looters were to blame. that an anti-muslim video did play a role motivating the attackers at least in part. and that the attack was not meticulously planned but neither was it spontaneous nor without warning signs. a top republican insists the intelligence shows al qaeda was involved. >> there was aspiration to
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conduct an attack by al qaeda and their affiliates in libya. we know that. the individuals on the ground talked about a planned, tactical movement on the compound. >> reporter: the top democrat on the house intelligence committee agrees but says it's a complex picture. >> the intelligence indicates that al qaeda was involved, but there were also plenty of people and militias that were unaffiliated with al qaeda that were involved. >> reporter: "the times" also says, however, it was not a copycat of street protests in egypt against the american made anti-muslim video as then u.n. ambassador susan rice suggested. >> our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> reporter: the obama white house isn't commenting or disputing "the times" report which notably does not mention then secretary of state hillary clinton. >> what difference at this point does it make? >> reporter: the former white house national security
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spokesman blasted benghazi hearings and for their claims that the obama administration was lying, tweeting they were wrong. and we could have avoided months of disgusting demagoguery. and this report uses the word murky, and that is important, kyra, because really in essence what they are saying is it's not a black and white pick tore. picture. as you can predict there is going to continue to be debate and a lot of controversy about this. >> and we'll be talking about it, jill dougherty, thanks so much. new year's resolutions on everyone's list. getting your financial house in order for the new year.
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and wake refreshed. unisom. a stressful day deserves a restful night. it took a lot of juggling to keep it all together.k. for some low-income families, having broadband internet is a faraway dream. so we created internet essentials,
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america's largest low-cost internet adoption program. having the internet at home means she has to go no further than the kitchen table to do her homework. now, more than one million americans have been connected at home. it makes it so much better to do homework, when you're at home. welcome to what's next. comcastnbcuniversal. well, 2013 is coming to a close. the christmas decorations are coming down, everyone is making a list on what they want to achieve to do better in 2014. how about your finances? i bet that's on your list. there are a few things to make sure you start out the next year on solid financial footing. joining me with some good money saving tips, monica is the managing principal the at
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seventh capital investment. give them to us. all right. so as you mentioned, some of the best things you can do for next year are right now before the ball drops. it starts with exhausting that flex spending account. now these are the tax oriented health savings accounts that we set up and they're use it or lose it. if you have any money sitting in there use it now because it will be gone by the end of the week. and you can use it simply by just visiting your -- getting new eyeglasses, sunglasses or that last teeth cleaning in. so that's one thing that can save you a lot of cash right now. and the second is taking advantage of the american opportunity tax credit. now this is a big one for those that are in college or parents that are paying for kids and undergrads. now this is a very special deduction because unlike others this comes as a refund so the first $2,000 that you spend on college comes right back to you even if you're not the paying taxes. and the next $2,000 comes back up to 25%. the so this is an excellent credit to make sure you use.
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make any kind of big purchases now if you've got an engagement ring you are planning to buy or a new car, you can still deduct sales tax in 2013. by january that very big deduction is going away. now that's a very important deduction for those who live in low tax or no tax states so you want to make sure you take advantage of that one. finally with the stock market as high as it is, you want to harvest tax losses. that means you don't want to just sell the winners, sell some of the losers so you can offset some of those gains. capital rates are going up and there's brand-new taxes for higher income americans so it's very important to think about not only the losers but the winners when you're thinking about stocks. and, you know, with charitable giving on everyone's mind, this is the time to clear out your closet, get rid of any old furniture and not only can you make the season a little bit brighter for somebody else, you can get a nice little tax deduction for yourself. and if you're thinking about giving cash, give stock instead
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because the wonderful thing about making stock donations, you don't have to pay capital gains and you're getting the fair value of the market value of that stock. so that can be almost 20% higher than just making a cash donation today. so these are some savvy tips that can save you big bucks and you don't want to lose them. >> you talk about exhaust your flex spend iing account. can i tell you every single year my husband forgets that he has money in that flex spending account and he's always so excited with either a dentist appointment, a new pair of glasses, exactly what you mentioned. a lot of folks put that money away for the advantage and completely forget about it. >> and especially the men. so stay on top of your husbands. >> take advantage of that money. you don't want to lose it. monica, thanks so much. still to come, starting next year new rules will require vending machines to display calorie counts. but will that really stop us from grabbing those cookies or
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chips when we're starving? we're talking about that next. so there i was again, explaining my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted. so i had a serious talk with my dermatologist about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today. clearer skin is possible.
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z a new mission is in the works to rescue people stuck on the research ship in the antarctic. a chinese helicopter will now airlift 52 passengers and four crew members from the ship when the weather is better. that announcement follows another attempt by an icebreaker ship to reach the vessel.
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an australian icebreaker turned around earlier today due to the horrible weather. i've had a chance firsthand to see how thick that ice is and how unforgiving the weather can be in antarctica. it was a decade ago i traveled to the south pole for my documentary "harsh continent." watching the u.s. coast guard cut through that ice really gives you an idea just how difficult a rescue like this is. here is part of my journey. life relies on the constant flow of supplies to its open harbor. a big challenge in a place where the ocean can freeze almost instantly. pack ice like this kept explorers away from antarctica for centuries. wooden ships were crushed by the relentless moving ice. today the u.s. coast guard breaks pack ice every season in
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specialized ships like the "polar sea." this is breaking the ice, cutting a 56-mile channel for a supply ship to bring in fuel and food. two of the most crucial supplies for winter survival. commander steve wheeler is executive officer of "the polar sea." >> this is cutting and we've the channel over here. what we want to do is run a parallel track and shave off big chunks between us and the channel. then next year when we come back and have to break the channel it's all first-year ice which is much easier to break. this stuff is second year. we've gotten rid of all the first year ice. the older ice is the harder it is, all the salts and dirts leeches out of it. the stuff becomes rock hard.
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>> how thick is this ice, commander? >> about six feet out here. every once in a while an eight-foot chunk. >> well, the stranding of the research ship comes on the heels of newly discovered photos of another antarctica voyage. we saw these this morning. this hammed almost 100 years ago, though. the negatives spent nearly a se century in an expedition hut belonging to captain robert falcon scott. in 1912 he set out to reach the south pole, and he did. however, scott died on his return home. several years later another group of explorers snapped these pictures when they state in his abandoned hut after their ship blew out to sea. amazing the things that are there frozen in time and then we get to look back and actually see history from 100 years ago. we all know how tempting vending machines can be, right? the next time you pick up that quick snack, you might, well, you might get more than just a sweet treat. starting next year an estimated
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5 million vending machines will be required to display calorie information. the new rules are actually part of obamacare. but here's the question. will it really work, and how much is it going to cost? cnn's chief business correspondent christine romans joins us from new york. that's the big question. is it going to be worth the money, christine? >> reporter: it's going to be more information for you, and this is part of obamacare. it's also part of a wellness initiative. wellness initiatives in obamacare to let you know how many calories are in these items. vending machines are usually impulse or desperation purchases. you often don't read the labels but you'll be able to see the calorie counts right away. for example, take lays potato chips. 240 calories. skittles, 250 calories. snickers i've been known to eat several a week, 250 calories ea each. kyra, maybe you will make different choices. maybe you would choose baked lays, for example, if you could see right there it's fewer calories. fig newtons, less than 200
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calories and there's fiber in there. planter's peanuts, 160 calories and more protein. so that's sort of the idea here. the fda says that if you can see these calories, you can make these choices, this is something that would be good for consum s consumers. now it's not necessarily good for very small businesses with very tight margins, right? we're going to have to pay for it. the fda expects it's going to be more than $25 million to make this changeover for this industry. that would be the cost of the vendors and they say the very small companies, it will be difficult for them to eat up that cost. but the fda makes its point. even if 0.2% of obese people ate 100 fewer calories every week you would more than offset that cost to society, that $24 million a cost to society, even if just a very small portion of obese americans ate just a few fewer calories a week it would make a difference to the cost of health care on society. kyra? >> that's interesting.
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you point out, it's true, how many times have we gone to the vending machine because we're desperate. it's out of desperation. if i were to see, okay, what's the healthiest choice within my desperation, i did he haefinite go to the healthier choice and not snack -- >> reporter: i'm always going to go for the snickers and here is w why. if i'm eating out of the vending machine, it means i've lost all self-control. i'm working for a 13-hour day, i'm very, very hungy and i can't get to the lunch room. that's exactly why i've gone to the vending machine. it does influence behavior n. new york they've been doing this since 2009. the studies haven't shown that it overwhelmingly changes behavior. some people do change their behavior. some people don't. >> so i'll take a bite of your snickers bar and you'll have a bite of my granola bar. there we go. christine, great to see you.
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for the first time abc anchor robin roberts is sharing with fans something her friends and family have known for a long time. she's gay. in an end of the year message posted on her face back page roberts thanked her longtime girlfriend for all her support. roberts returned to "good morning america" this year after undergoing a bone marrow
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transplant for a rare blood disorder. nischelle turner is with us. was it really a big surprise? i guess not to those who knew her well or know her well. >> reporter: right, that she's a lesbian not as much of a sprays as the fact she decided to announce it publicly. robin is a really private person. she did make this announcement but in a subtle l way. she did it on her face back page. here is a little bit of what she wrote on the page. she said, quote, i am grateful to god, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. i am grateful for my sister, sally ann, for being my donor, my entire family, my longtime girlfriend, amber. she has been open about her health. very poignant. and sunday marked her 100th day of recovery, kyra, from her bone marrow transplant but this is the first time she has come out and publicly acknowledged her sexuality. she was chosen as one of barbara
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walters ten most fascinating people. she didn't make the revelation there. that would have been really public, a very public for toum do so there and, of course, she's not the first person to go public with her sexuality. sam champion revealed that he's guy. there have been some other celebrities in 2013, miller, jodie foster, raven-symone, and jason collins have come out this year. >> so what more do we though about her girlfriend? >> not a lot. she didn't go into it a lot. she didn't go into a lot of details about her girlfriend but "people" magazine is reporting that she is a licensed massage therapist from san francisco, and that shea and robin met through mutual friends about ten years ago so, yes, longtime girlfriend would be correct if they've been together for about ten years, kyra. >> and probably the massage therapy worked well going through treatment. >> robin, her outlook on life is that life is short now and she's blessed every day. i'm sure she has a different outlook on just who she is.
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>> be proud of who you are. >> exactly. >> and who is in your life. thanks, nischelle. thank you for joining us today. i hope you have a great monday. "legal view" is next. soon after the corks start popping to ring in 2014 marijuana will be just as legal as champagne in colorado. so what are the experts saying about the new law? cheech and chong is here along with our experts. dozens killed in russia just weeks before the winter olympics. who is to blame and what's being done now to keep these games safe and keep the terrorists from striking again? and you kno

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