tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 4, 2014 8:00am-10:01am PST
there were no other passengers in the car. >> wow. that'll do it for us for today. thanks for watching. >> but keep it right here, because there's a whole lot ahead in the next hour of until -- "newsroom." happy new year, fredricka. >> our first full weekend together in the new year. >> 2014 feels pretty good so far. >> yeah, feels good. i like it. thank you so much, guys. >> see you. >> be feeling better if we found a ticket we misplaced. >> or a few extra degrees. 10, 20 degrees would help. >> yeah, that would help. we'll warm it up in other ways. thank you so much, guys. >> see ya. everybody, it is the 11:00 a.m. hour. welcome to the "cnn newsroom." it starts right now. oh, get ready for round two of powerful arctic blast, putting half of the u.s. in a dangerous deep freeze just days after a
monster snowstorm slams into nearly two dozen states. and a month after a popular actor's death, the final coroner's report is in on paul walker. it includes graphic details of what happened in that fiery car crash that claimed his life. and colorado's new cash cow. marijuana sales are through the roof, and it isn't just the sellers who are making big money. hello, everyone. our top story -- the wave of nasty winter weather that's blasted about a third of the u.s. with heavy snowfall, fierce winds, and bone-chilling temperatures. at least 13 deaths are now blamed on this monster storm. and the dangerous conditions are about to get even worse. an arctic blast is moving into the plains right now, and then marching east. and it's going to produce the coldest temperatures the country has seen in 20 years. parts of the midwest could see wind chill temperatures as low as negative 60.
that's wrong. frostbite possible in just five minutes. and the subzero temperatures could sweep as far south as alabama. all right. in boston, not only are they dealing with the deep freeze, they're also digging out from mounds of snow. margaret connelly is in boston for us. margaret, you're dressed for the weather, and lots of snow. it is pretty. and interest is a car getting by, so people are moving about, aren't they? >> reporter: yes, fred, but they had up to two feet of snow in certain parts of massachusetts. last night, temperatures were near record lows. but as you were saying, the way some people are coping, they don't want to have to dig out the parking space again, so we found some things people are leaving to save their spots. we have a postal service box, someone saving their spot. and over here next to it, someone used the box from the fan, stuffed it with snow, and left that there, so they don't have to dig out another spot. and across the street, we have a yoga mat.
someone dropped that down so no one else takes their spot right there. >> i can't believe that works. >> reporter: there's a wind chill advisory -- it's working so far. we've been watching over the last hour. >> so people are courteous and they're respecting these markers even with the snowfall. >> reporter: that's right. there is a boston code that we've learned here in south boston, fred. >> oh. >> reporter: there is a wind chill advisory. there was one up until this morning at 9:00, but that has been lifted, but, fred, it's not over. we had snow, winds, and next up is rain. they're expecting heavy storms tomorrow and into monday, and they're actually -- emergency workers have posted warnings about people's rooves, because there's heavy snow, the rain is dropping on top of that, and they're worried about that making structural problems. so they're advising people to clear off their rooves. but, of course, being careful when you go up the ladders, because it's slippery and wet out there. >> oh, yeah, this is bad. this is terrible. it's going to worsen.
certainly they're going to be worried with the rain, it might mean the freezing overnight, then black ice, or a nice sheet of ice on top of the packed snow, so driving is going to be far worse than what it is already. margaret connelly, thank you so much. >> reporter: what a way to start the year. >> yeah, no way -- no -- no way to start the new year. thanks so much, margaret. heavy snow and ice closed roads and schools in new york, as well. our alexandra field is on long island where folks are dealing with the aftermath of the blizzard, and they are out and about. they're making it look easy behind you, margaret. i mean, i'm sorry, alexandra. >> reporter: absolutely. hey, that's all right. we're all standing in the snow wearing hats. relatively speaking, fred, at least it is getting better. i'm almost comfortable right now. we're up to about 16 degrees, a major climb from where we were earlier this morning. it was 2 degrees then. i am now down from seven layers to just six layers. very comfortable. that said, we've still got a lot of snow left behind from
yesterday. the temperatures continuing to rise, much of the snow should start to melt later in the day. officials here on long island say the storm was forecasted for them, they were aware for it, prepared for it, and tried not to mistake repeats made in the past, still with a storm of this size bearing down on the island, they say there were the inevitable problems, and officials are blaming the weather for a death and one accident. here's what one official told us. >> we had over 3,500 calls to the suffolk county police department, and we did, unfortunately, have one fatality early thursday evening. a young lady from smithtown killed on the parkway when her vehicle skidded out of control and hit a tree. our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and we ask people to be careful. >> reporter: you can see here in sayville, the traffic is moving well again. the roads were treated. they've been plowed and people are taking the opportunity to get out and enjoy the relative
warm-up, because, fred, we know in a couple of days, we're going to be back to the bone-chilling temperatures. >> oh, my goodness, all right, fair warning enough. alexandra field there in long island. so all of the bad weather is hitting millions of people who are traveling home from the new year's holiday. it is slow going for people on the roads, as well, and for those, of course, flying. this is what they are faced with. long lines, flight delays, and cancellations. flightaware.com is reporting more than 700 cancellations this morning, and thousands of other flights were cancelled earlier this week. and the travel headaches, well, they're not over. samantha moore is tracking the new round of winter weather -- i'm having a problem this morning. it's bad. it's cold everywhere, it's freezing my mouth. >> that's how it is, when it gets too cold for me, too. if i were out there, with alexandra, i'd have a hard time talking. she does such a great job. yes, we're definitely going to see more reinforcing arctic air move in. and this is a serious situation
with this next low developing here in texas, and then it's going to be intercepting some very cold arctic air. in fact, we're already starting to see some of the snow come down in the chicago land area. you can see the band of snow here moving in, and that is just the beginning, fredricka, of the next system that will be moving in, coming out of texas. the area of low pressure, and in comes the incredibly cold air. so a band of very heavy snow expected here. now, the timing is very important as to how much rain and how much snow we're going to see. but if things pan out like the models are indicating, we could end up with 7 to 10 inches in chicago, similar amounts in st. louis, up to a foot here in indianapolis, as well, as in the u.p. of michigan. but the timing is critical as to when the low moves on up into the ohio valley and where it intercepts that cold air. so here you can see it coming in. this is early sunday morning as
that rain's going to be moving in the ohio valley. of course, we have an important football game in cincinnati, and it looks like at this point, we were worried it would be heavy snow, but now the models are indicating that we'll likely see more rain, and it could be quite heavy as it moves on in. and then, we'll continue to see it move on into the eastern great lakes. very gusty winds behind it. so it's all about timing in life, and exactly how much heavy snow we could end up seeing here, or if it will be more rain. we do know we'll be very, very cold here, and likely see some record lows here, record highs, actually, fredricka. some of the coldest temperatures we have seen in decades will be moving on in. dangerously cold. below zero in detroit and in cincinnati, and, you know, we've only ever had five days that never got above zero, that stayed below zero for the entire day. we're in the deep freeze, fredricka. >> that is extraordinary, and it seems so wrong, doesn't it? >> it does.
>> thanks so much, samantha. >> you bet. the storm that roared through the northeast left quite the mess, but it also gave some of our viewers some great pictures and video in which to share. so we've got some of the best straight ahead. next, the coroner's report on actor paul walker's death is out, and it has graphic details on what happened in the minute after his car crash. ♪ [ male announcer ] this man has an accomplished research and analytical group at his disposal. ♪ but even more impressive is how he puts it to work for his clients. ♪ morning. morning. thanks for meeting so early. oh, it's not a big deal at all. come on in. [ male announcer ] it's how edward jones makes sense of investing. ♪
a death certificate has been issued for a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery. it came yesterday as jahi mcmath's family was in court, reaching an agreement with the hospital to transfer the child. details of the transfer haven't been determined yet. mcmath was declared brain dead after a complication following tonsil surgery last month. our sanjay gupta has the latest details on this heartbreaking
story, in 20 minutes. plus i'll talk to renown ethicist doctor arthur caplan about the situation. and the final coroner's report on paul walker's death is out, and it reveals the actor's life ended just like his movie title, "fast and furious." the document revealed he and his friend died soon after the porsche crashed. casey winans has the details. >> reporter: the report contains few surprises but lots of graphic details. millions of fans of paul walker's "fast and furious" movie series were shocked in november when a real-life car crash killed the 40-year-old actor. the los angeles county coroner's final autopsy report shows walker's death was gruesome and swift. walker was a passenger in an ultra-high-performance car driven by his friend, roger rhodes on november 30th.
the driver was driving a porsche carrera gt at an unsafe speed, approximately 100-plus miles per hour. >> when they passed us, there were no other cars around them at all. >> reporter: the driver lost control, spun, struck a sidewalk, tree, and a lightpost. exclusive video obtained by cnn shows the moment of impact, and a full minute later, the car bursting into flames. >> there's nothing. we tried. we went through fire extinguishers and -- >> reporter: concerned that they may have been alive that entire time not supported by the autopsy. they said both were found in a pugilist tick stance, like a boxer. walker was burned so badly, only the backs, buttocks and feet were uncharred. only a skant amount of soot was found in his throat, indicating he wasn't breathing for long. the body of roger was in a gruesome condition. he died instantly. >> in hollywood, they never get hurt. they're always driving fast. in reality, we do have to be
concerned. we have to be concerned that this could happen to any of us. you know, we ought to follow the rules, follow the speed. >> reporter: the final autopsy confirms the coroner's initial ruling on the cause of death, an accident. walker lives on on film. the seventh installment of the franchise, which was partially shot at the time of walker's death, is scheduled to be released next year. fred? >> all right, thanks so much, casey. meanwhile, entertainment websites report that paul walker's character will be retired, not killed off, in the next film. a top-secret federal court reauthorized the nsa's mass phone records collection program. the court extended the agency's program for 90 days. it's the first time the court has ruled since a new york federal judge upheld it, saying it fell under the patriot act. that ruling has been appealed so the issue could head to the u.s. supreme court. the program first came to light through documents leaked by
former nsa contractor edward snowden. a republican senator has filed a lawsuit against the obama administration, hoping to put a stop to the nsa spying on americans. kentucky senator rand paul, who is considering a run for the white house, says it's a class action lawsuit that he believes will grow with more plaintiffs. >> we now have several hundred thousand people who want to be part of this suit to say to the government and to the nsa, no, you can't have our records without our permission, or without a warrant specific to an individual. so it's kind of an unusual class action suit in the sense we think everybody in america who has a cell phone would be eligible for this class action suit. >> the lead lawyer in the suit is virginia's former attorney general, ken cuccinelli. all of the snow and ice in the northeast has made for some rather memorable pictures. coming up, we'll show you the best of our viewer i reports.
they're not letting the winter storm stop them from buying legal pot in colorado. my dad has aor afib.brillation, he has the most common kind... ...it's not caused by a heart valve problem. dad, it says your afib puts you at 5 times greater risk of a stroke. that's why i take my warfarin every day. but it looks like maybe we should ask your doctor about pradaxa. in a clinical trial, pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate)... ...was proven superior to warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke. and unlike warfarin, with no regular blood tests or dietary restrictions. hey thanks for calling my doctor. sure. pradaxa is not for people with artificial heart valves. don't stop taking pradaxa without talking to your doctor. stopping increases your risk of stroke. ask your doctor if you need to stop pradaxa before surgery or a medical or dental procedure. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding or have had a heart valve replaced. seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk
if you're 75 or older, have a bleeding condition or stomach ulcer, take aspirin, nsaids, or blood thinners... ...or if you have kidney problems, especially if you take certain medicines. tell your doctors about all medicines you take. pradaxa side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. if you or someone you love has afib not caused by a heart valve problem... ...ask your doctor about reducing the risk of stroke with pradaxa. of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ there's a lot of fruits and drinks that have acids in them that you might not know about.
salad dressings, raspberries, strawberries... they all have acid in them, and it's working at your enamel. once the enamel is gone, it's gone. you can't get it back. i would recommend using pronamel as your regular toothpaste. pronamel will help to re-harden the enamel that is softened by the acids in our daily diets. knowing what i know about pronamel, i use that every day twice a day. and i know that i am protected. mile-high sales in colorado, retailers there saying they made more than $1 million from legal pot sales on new year's day. that was the first day the state allowed the legal sale of marijuana, and it's not just the
retailers who are cashing in on weed. the state and local governments are, as well. with two separate retail taxes, the state is collecting nearly 14% of every purchase, and local governments can also add their own marijuana tax on purchases. barbara broll is executive director of the colorado department of revenue. she's joining us now from denver. there's been a lot of money m e made, but will the cost of regulating it also be so pricey that you have to have these kinds of taxes on the sale of marijuana? can you hear me okay? barbara? >> yes, i can. >> are you there? >> hi. fredricka. >> i'm wondering, my first question, if you can hear me now, since so much money is being made on the state level, municipality level, is it a feeling that you had to engage with these kinds of taxes
because regulating the pot sales, legal pot sales, is also going to be costly? >> absolutely, fredricka. thank you for having me on. the reason that the tax revenue is so important is not only because we need to ensure that we can fund a very robust regulatory system, but because we need to also address all of the social attendant costs that also address the industry. we need to make sure we're doing the right education to children, that we're doing the right education to parents and to educators. and so, as a result, there are some costs associated with this, and the industry taxation will be paying for all of those things. >> okay. so let's talk about the business of pot. you know, first off, how tough is it for someone to say, you know what, i want to go in the business of getting a license, and get into the business of selling marijuana. what's involved? >> well, what an individual has to do is they have to file an application with the department
of revenue, with the marijuana enforcement division. they have to go through an extensive financial and criminal background check. and for businesses, all business owners have to be residents of the state of colorado for two years before they can actually apply. right now, we're only taking applications from those businesses that have actually been in the medical marijuana business, and after july, we'll start accepting applications from individuals who want to start businesses that were no the a part of the original group. >> so so far, are you please the with the way, you know, the opening of business has happened in this new year? does it seem as though there've been any real wrinkles? >> i'm sorry, fredricka, i didn't hear that. >> has everything gone the way you expected, the way you all planned in terms of the sale of marijuana in this new year? has everything gone off without a hitch? >> actually, it was a pretty
noneventful day for such an eventful -- you know, an experience. we were out in full force on the first of january. we wanted to make sure that we were taking a look at the businesses, making sure they were working appropriately, they were in compliance with all of the laws and regulations. and by and large, they all were. we had a lot of long lines, three and four hours, but the kids standing in line, were very polite and patient, and everything went off the way we were hoping it would. >> okay, barbara broll, executive director of the colorado department of revenue, thank you very much for your time. appreciate it. and this programming note, cnn's "ac 360" will explore the series all week long, "gone to pot." up next, from cute dogs to ice-covered home, we'll show you some of the best storm pictures from cnn viewers. ♪ lyrics: 'take on me...'
all right. as the storm blew through the northeast and left a deep freeze in its wake, cnn viewers have been sharing their pictures and videos. jennifer is watching social media for us. all right. so you've been going through some of the great ireports, and it's been kind of fun for the most part, right? >> absolutely.
the pictures are fantastic, though it makes you shiver just a little bit. a lot of the best pictures and videos are from the four-legged friends. the video here of a dog running around in the snow. oh, my gosh, look, he's not cold. he has a coat on. doesn't seem to have a care in the world. this next video of a dog sent in by sarsh, her dog melo. it's the first snowfall. just look at that, eating the snow. doesn't seem to bother that dog either. my goodness, they're pretty tough. tamara peterson sent in this picture of she captured someone walking their dog alone the new york street. the person is so bundled up. the cars on the sides of the street, they are covered in snow. it looks like that neighborhood will take a while to dig out of there. and in new jersey, you might think that you would see people strolling along the beach during another part of the year.
but adam reid took a picture of someone snow skiing. that's along the ocean city beach there in new jersey. take a look at that. that person is bundled up and braving cold temperatures there. and over in times square, while people were snapping photos of themselves while they were braving the cold. look, looks like they're having fun out there, all smiles. the snow coming down in times square. >> if you're going to be out in it, you have to have some fun in it. >> reporter: absolutely. turning the cameras on themselves. and in pennsylvania, alice sent in this picture. she is inside. that's because her balcony door got frozen stuck because of those cold temperatures. >> whew. >> reporter: you can see her chairs are covered in snow. there's a couple little footsteps, maybe one of a pet or an animal out there. looks pretty icy out there. she said it looked like a winter wonderland, that's howal his described it, but said there are
icicles all over the tree, and you know it's cool in the balcony door is stuck. >> yeah, a winter wonderland. i say the perfect time of year. >> reporter: definitely. >> you can see more, go to cnn.com/ireport. thank you, jen. tomorrow's packers/49ers playoff game could go down as one of the coldest games in football history, which is why everyone is so excited about it. new yorker jared greenberg, he knows snow, cold, he says, whatever. >> listen, i want my money back on the southern thing in atlanta here, because it's pretty cold here. no snow. it will be perfect football weather for those who live in green bay, wisconsin, right? >> i guess. >> temperature minus 20 with a wind chill around 40 below. it sold out at green bay as they take on the 49ers tomorrow. yesterday, hundreds of fans showed up at lambeau field to shovel out the stands ahead of the game. here's the good news, fred.
they used to be volunteers. fans braving the bitter cold at lambeau field will have something extra to keep them warm. the team will give out free coffee and hot chocolate. >> okay. hey. maybe blankets or something. okay. heat from within. >> a local store will hand out 70,000 hand warmers to the fans. i think each fan will need a couple dozen. the game could be even colder than the infamous ice bowl. back in 1967, the wind chill was estimated at 48 degrees below zero. the game, the packers beat the cowboys. >> oh, my gosh. thank goodness, right, all ticket sales have taken place. >> they have. >> people will get a chance to watch it at home, if you're in the local area. >> in the wisconsin television market, you will be able to see the game, because ticket sales have been sold out. >> oh, my goodness. okay. so ice bowls, we've seen it before. this game is really going to be, you know, nothing really that unusual. >> no, because green bay fans are used to this. of the top-ten nfl games in the
nfl history, green bay has hosted four of the top ten coldest games. >> old hat. >> yeah, old hat. >> and talking about bowl game, one in a usually toasty, warm place, miami. >> that's right. the orange bowl, about mid-60s at kickoff time, so no weather issues. we did have a stunning upset in a game that lived up to the pregame hype. boyd, outstanding, his favorite target, sammy watkins. he was a beast. now, here boyd, look at this, looking for bryant. look at the catch, the concentration. bryant. how did he catch that? a whole lot of offense in the game, but the difference, clemson's defense. they sealed it. braxton miller's pass snagged out of the air by anthony. clemson hangs on for the win, a game that saw 75 combined points. >> that's looking like a pro game. forgot i was watching college. >> a big upset. a good one for the acc.
monster sledding in boston, and it is trending now on bleacherreport.com. >> that is fun! >> why not combine the two? what do you do with a baseball stadium in the dead of winter? fans are being encouraged to bring their families to fenway park and take a turn on a 20-foot-high sledding and tubing rump, right next to the green monster, which makes it all the more cooler. nothing like this here, fred. $25 for one hour. >> one hour? >> the lines will be pretty long, so how many turns you actually get? >> i didn't see any turns there. that's just down. >> right. leave your sled and tubing at home. they will provide that for free. >> well, that's what the $25 is for. makes it a little easy, sorta, kinda. all right, jared, thank you. good to see you. >> yeah. doctors are weighing in saying that this child is brain dead. but this heartbroken mother says she doesn't believe it, and she's not giving up on her daughter.
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the family of a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead by several doctors has reached an agreement with the hospital to transfer her. but the details have not yet been worked out. yesterday, a california coroner issued a death certificate for jahi mcmath. the date is december 12th, three days after her tonsil surgery. dr. sanjay gupta explains brain death. >> reporter: this is an incredibly sad and heartbreaking situation, and also very confusing. let's start off by talking about some of the terms here. brain death. brain death is not the same as being in a coma or a vegetative state. brain death, by definition, is irreversib irreversible. in the united states and most places, it's legally synonymous
with death, the same if your heart stops. brain death means a total loss of brain activity. now, to determine it, doctors will do several things. a physical exam, for example, shine light into the pupils and see, do they dilate, move, construct? gently rub the eyeball with cotton and see if the eye reacts that way. sometimes they'll put icewater into the ears and see if the eyes move in a particular fashion. these are all tests of the brain stem. they'll also do something known as an apnea test. they'll turn off the ventilator and see if the person shows breathing on their own. they'll do scans to check to see if there's blood flow to the brain and also check if there's electrical activity from the brain. but it's the detailed neurological exam that's so important. coma, if it goes on an extended period of time, is a vegetative state. s that a fair amount of interesting research in this area. in a rare handful of cases, for example, people in a vegetative
state for years have returned to some level of consciousness. this is rare, but it does happen. but again, brain death is something else entirely. there is no activity in the brain. there is no blood flow to the brain. it is a grim situation, but again, something that a trained doctor can pretty easily diagnose. back to you. >> all right, thanks so much, sanjay gupta. as you can see from sanjay's report, a lot of people have been very confused about what exactly brain dead means, and my guest says we need to talk about that. i'm joined by bioethicist arthur capl caplan, director of ethics at nyu medical center. good to see you again, dr. caplan. >> thanks, fredricka. >> in is a tragic case, but you say there's confusion about terms of brain dead and life support, it leads to the outcome that makes no sense, in your view, ethically. so we heard sanjay's explanation. brain dead really does mean
dead. so why even use that terminology? and what do you mean when you say it really makes no sense ethically, this predicament? >> the predicament we're in is that the family can't accept the death. you know, their little girl went in for an elective operation, she's died. they find it really tough and they're religious, hoping for something to happen. i understand that. it's tragic. but death is death. brain death is one way that we can diagnose it, stopping -- when your heart stops is the other way. it's been confirmed many times in her case. now we have the coroner saying she's dead. we know she's dead. so i don't think we have a disagreement about the facts. what we have a problem of trust and acceptance on the part of that family. so that's why i say, it doesn't make ethical sense. we don't treat the dead. we don't ask doctors to do that, and we shouldn't ask doctors to do that. >> i think most people can understand a family is holding out hope. a family is holding out hope that maybe something will happen to their loved one and a
turnaround will take place, and i'll have that loved one again. so when a doctor says brain dead, that seems like there's an underlying reason to have some hope. but if you and dr. sanjay gupta are saying brain dead means dead, no blood flow to the brain, why do they use the term brain dead, why not be frank, and say, there is no turnaround for this person? >> that's a really great question, and i think they should not use the term. i think what they should say, your daughter, loved one has died and we've determined that using brain death criteria. similarly, talking about life support. you can't keep a corpse, a dead body alive. you can maintain blood flow, you can mimic certain things about life. when you hear the term life support, as this family apparently has, they're thinking why would i stop life support? you have to be very, very careful trying to teach doctors
be careful on the language. don't build false hope or confusion. use death, not brain dead. don't talk about life support when death has occurred. >> all right, dr. caplan, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> we'll be talking more about this case, the legalities of it all, with our legal guys the next hour. [ julie ] i've got to credit my mom. to help me become an olympian, she was pretty much okay with me turning her home into an ice rink. ♪
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former first lady barbara bush will be released from the hospital in houston today after spending a week there. she was admitted to the hospital in houston on monday for a respiratory issue, but the family spokesman said that she was now in great spirits and the former first lady will be released. she is 88 years old. nsa leaker edward snowden is on the run, wanted by the u.s. government on charges of espionage. now, two newspapers -- "the new york times" and "the guardian" are calling for snowden's pardon, praising him, calling him a whistle-blower and courageous. so should edward snowden face charges in the u.s.? i talked to cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and the aclu's ben wisner, a legal advisor to edward snowden. >> well, i think that "the new york times" makes the case very powerfully, and i urge your viewers to go to "the new york times" and see it. but i think it boils down to the following. the disclosures that mr. snowden
is responsible for vastly improved a much, much needed public debate, both in the united states and around the world, the claims that they caused damage are hugely overblown. he had no alternative but to do it in the way that he did, because the people who were responsible for oversight of the programs already knew about what he reported and hadn't done anything about it. and the law under which he would be prosecuted if he would returned to the united states would not allow him to make a public interest defense, would not allow him to say what i just said, that these disclosures were valuable, that they didn't cause harm, that, in fact, they revealed programs found unconstitutional by open courts. they're basically strict liability offenses under u.s. law. so prosecutors would be able to lock him up for life without the jury ever hearing about the benefits of the disclosures that -- >> but then, what would give edward snowden the justification to be the one that sets precedent, that as an american citizen, anyone could make the determination whether to respect
the law or not? wouldn't that be the case if he were to be given asylum? >> well, let me say this. edward snowden would not be the first person in the last ten years to get this kind of clemency, but he would almost certainly be the most deserving. washington is full of people who broke the law by lying to congress, by engaging in illegal spying, by ordering the torture of prisoners. we haven't seen prosecutions of those officials, and we haven't seen a lot of hand ringing about the precedent set by not prosecuting those people. so let's not, you know, get on a high horse and say that, oh, dear, if we don't prosecute that person, we'll set a bad precedent. that precedent was set a long time ago. the difference is, what snowden did, it vastly benefited society. what the high officials did, it harmed u.s. standing in the world. >> jeffrey, let me bring you in. what is the response there, you know, to ben's premise, that edward snowden is doing what many others have done prior to,
and why should he be prosecuted? >> well, he should be prosecuted because he broke the law in a very dramatic and egregious way. it is true, and i don't think, you know, someone in my position can deny that he has started an important debate. but what we will never know is whether that debate could have gotten started if he had done it the right way, if he had gone to senator ron wyden of oregon, someone who has been critical of the programs, and said, look, look at these documents. you could bring these out to the public in a way that i can't, but you could do it legally. no, snowden took it upon himself to decide that he was above the law and disclose them. and the one point that i think is very important here, that ben didn't mention, that these editorials didn't mention, is where did snowden go? he went to china, and he went to russia. >> places where he -- >> -- two oppressive countries.
>> -- the places he wouldn't get the freedoms that he professes he doesn't get in the u.s., when he does. >> more to the point, also, his computers contain the keys to our national security apparatus, to the national security agency. those now perhaps, are now in the hands of chinese intelligence and the successors to the kgb. is that something we should give him credit for? i don't think so. >> ben? >> it's a fabrication. i mean, jeff has said this over and over again, but saying it 20 times doesn't make it any more true. >> what part is the fabrication? >> it's a fabrication that edward snowden's computers that contain somehow evidence or something are in the hands of chinese intelligence or russian intelligence. edward snowden said to "the new york times" very clearly, there's no evidence to the contrary, that he did not carry anything with him on computer hard drives or anything when he travelled to russia from china. it was his job in the nsa to train u.s. officials on how to evade having their materials
compromised, and the only evidence of secret materials being compromised is that gchq, the british version of nsa, and nsa lost control of it. there's not a shred of evidence that either edward snowden or the journalists with whom he's worked lost control. i can tell you that if he had, that if cheen that and russia had access to this trove so how, you wouldn't see top-level nsa officials going on "60 minutes" saying, we need to talk to this guy and consider clemency. if they thought all of the information had been compromised, they wouldn't want to have that conversation. so i really think it's important that your viewers know that there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that china or russia got access to this. one more point i want to -- >> so that's -- >> so where are -- >> we have a clip of that, amnesty, i would come back. given the potential damage to national security, what would your thought on making a deal
be? >> so my personal view is yes, it is worth having a conversation about. i would need assurances the remainder of the data could be secured. and my bar for those assurances would be high, more than just assertion on his part. >> jeffrey, what's at stake as the obama administration has to weigh as well, entertain the idea or even have discussions about granting clemency. what is at stake for the u.s. if it were to seriously entertain that, this administration were to seriously entertain that, extend that kind of reprieve? >> well, what the government has to decide is whether it's worth it to get this stuff back. i mean, ben says it is not in the hands of the kgb, successor to the kgb or chinese intelligence. where are all of these documents? where are all of the things that snowden took illegally. i don't know the answer to that, i don't think the nsa knows, and
he has the keys to the kingdom there, he has some leverage. no doubt about it. >> isn't it understandable that this administration or any government official would have a hard time trusting the word of edward snowden, whether he still has compromising information or not? >> i think the important thing is that any discussion between edward snowden and the united states not rely on trust on either side. i think both have reason not to trust the other, but be built upon verifiable agreements that don't require anyone to believe the other person is telling the truth. i do want to close by returning to one point jeff made which is that ed snowden should have gone to congress, told ron wyden about this, instead of going to the guardian newspaper and "the washington post." congress knew, intelligence committees knew, ron wyden was on the floor of the senate with his hair on fire, saying if the american people knew what i knew, they would be outraged. turns out senator widen was right, when they learned from
him, not ed snowden or "the washington post," they were outraged. there was no other channel as "the new york times" rightly pointed out but the one mr. snowden showed which was go to the public. >> ben wise ner, jeffrey toobin, thanks so much. athletes from around the world will be in russia for the winter olympics next month. recent twin terror attacks raise questions about security there. should the u.s. delegation be worried? that's next. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the little room
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we are 34 days from the start of winter olympics in russia. the excitement has been building, until about last week, and then just prior to that two deadly terror attacks. 400 miles from the host city. diana mag knee takes a look at security for the games. >> reporter: russian authorities have discovered a link between the two deadly suicide bombings. monday's attack killed 16, and on sunday, a massive explosion rocked the city's railway station. this chilling surveillance video captures the horrific incident at the security checkpoint when a suicide bomber detonated 22 pounds of tnt, killing 18.
authorities now say both bombs contained similar shrapnel, a sign they originated from the same region. the attacks highlight the terrorist threat that russia faces as it hosts the winter olympic games next month in sochi, 400 miles south of the devastation. >> all of the olympic sites will have physical security, electronic security, everybody will be screened. i think it will be difficult for someone, for a terrorist to set off a bomb inside a village or venue. >> reporter: russia's president vladimir putin is involved insecurity plans, promising maximum security in sochi. they say they won't change security measures already in place, confident they're well prepared. u.s. authorities offered full support to the russian government in ramping up security measures. in a statement, the united states olympic committee says in part we're always concerned for the safety of our delegation and
the sochi games are no different. they want to avoid a repeat occurrence of a bomb that killed two at the games in atlanta. >> what concerns me is when you harden targets, you often force terrorists to select softer targets, so that makes everything else in sochi and the surrounding area vulnerable. >> reporter: targets like transportation hubs where tourists and athletes travel to and from the games. president putin's claim he can protect the olympics also rests in part whether he can control the situation in the north caucuses, he claims that he can. but it would seem as though terrorists are intent on proving he cannot. >> let's talk to richard barrett, former counter terrorism director for britain's mi6. he is a senior vice president for a security consulting firm. richard, to what extent should
the u.s. delegation or any other delegation from a visiting nation be worried about terrorism at the games? >> well, i'm sure the chechans will try to launch an attack, it is a high profile event and world press there. but russians have been preparing for this for a long time. i'm quite sure they would have made really extensive preparations to protect both the athletes and the venues for the games. >> and do you expect some modifications in their security have been made as a result of those two attacks taking place just 400 miles from the sochi games? >> clearly the attacks do signal that one of the targets that they may go for are transport hubs. possibly they will have increased security around the transportation hubs into sochi, whether from russia or outside the country. i would imagine they might have done that. i think within sochi itself,
they probably have plans well established and reckon they're pretty robust. >> there was connection between the two boston bombers and the area not far from the russian bombings, a real connection in training, et cetera, and the group that may be responsible for these recent bombings. in what way do you interpret whether this group is gaining strength, is it picking up more support in its extremist views and actions? what do you read from the recent bombings? >> well, it is an interesting question. i mean, the group has been going for a long time, of course, since the 1990s, so one can expect now there are new members joining who don't really have much sort of resonance or much memory of what happened in the first and second chechan war. the way the group positioned itself looking to protect the
muslim ridge as they put it through the terrorist attacks, that may have drawn in a new group of people who perhaps have broader ambition perhaps and broader motivation than purely in chechnya. >> richard brewer, thanks for your expertise. everybody is hoping for successful winter games in sochi. much more straight ahead in the newsroom and it all starts right now. hello again, i'm fredricka whitfield. here are the top stories we're following in the cnn newsroom. brace yourselves again. a powerful arctic blast is about to hit 140 million in the u.s., just days after a monster snowstorm hammered 22 states. and we're learning graphic details about how actor paul walker died. the final coroner's report is in a month after his death. it sheds light on his fiery car
crash and the injuries that claimed his life. plus serious ethical questions are being raised about the case of a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after getting a tonsillectomy. we'll take a hard look at the emotional, complicated issue surrounding her fate. first up, more misery in store for tens of millions hit by a huge snowstorm this week. at least 13 deaths are blamed on that monster storm, just as folks from the midwest and east coast dig out, they're facing another round of brutal winter weather, an arctic blast is moving into the plains right now, and marching east, and it is going to produce the coldest temperatures the country has seen in 20 years! parts of the midwest could see wind chill temperatures as low as negative 60 with frostbite possible in just five minutes of exposure. sub zero temperatures could
sweep as far south as alabama. so the northeast is feeling the chill from the nor easter. they have had blizzard conditions, alexandra, how are people preparing for the second winter blast. folks are getting out maybe in anticipation they won't be moving soon? >> reporter: fred, if people are like me, they don't want to think about the next blast. temperatures in long island, just 2 degrees, with the sunup, up to 20 degrees. by end of the day, should be warm enough for some snow to melt. truth is, right around the corner, we know another blast is coming our way, so people really do have to prepare for it. the massive storm that pommelled new york is followed by a massive response, but plummeting temperatures have officials
warning some of the most dangerous conditions are still ahead of us. >> the best option today is stay close to home. best option is to not be outside too long. >> reporter: new york city mayor bill de blasio shovelled his own driveway, despite the bitter wind chill that prompted city leaders to keep schools closed friday. >> it is nasty out here, really nasty. if i could have stayed home, i would have stayed home. stay home. if you don't have to come out, stay home, that's it. >> reporter: new york city saw almost eight inches of snow, a foot of snow fell on long island during the worst of the storm friday night, a driving ban kept cars off some of the busiest interstates. the long island expressway shut for eight hours from blizzard conditions. holiday travelers were stopped in their tracks. passengers grounded in new york city airports. >> i talked to them, they said it would be a couple days before the next flight to toronto. i booked myself a bus ticket.
>> reporter: that might be one option for people fighting to get out. but what to do if you're stuck at home waiting for that snow to clear? >> my plan is to wake up early tomorrow, look out the window, see what it looks like, get the snowblower out, try to get to work. >> reporter: if that's the case, connecticut's governor has some advice for you, too. >> if you want tips how to deal with the cold, first of all, i'll give you mine. don't put your tongue on a flagpole. >> reporter: all right. wise advice from connecticut's governor, worth remembering because some of us will be experiencing cold the next few days that we haven't experienced before. just last night overnight in new york city, fred, the mercury was down to almost zero for the first time since 1994. that's right. >> that will wake you up. that is cold. thanks so much, alexandra field, stay warm as best you can. let's go to boston now. not only are they dealing with the deep freeze, they're also digging out from a whole lot more snow.
cnn's margaret conley is there. temperatures are bone chilling. how is the city coping and how are specially marked parking spaces? are people respecting the markers? >> reporter: yes, that's boston code. there's a guy that pulled out of his parking spot, there's a cone in the background there. no one touched that spot when he was gone because he definitely shoveled out all of the snow. that is definitely his spot. there are cars here you can see that have some shoveling to do still. some parts of massachusetts got up to two feet of snow. last night, temperatures were at near record levels. there was a wind chill advisory, that stopped as early at 9:00 this morning. now there are still warnings about frostbite. people are saying if you are losing sensation in fingers and
toes, address it. people are overexerting, still shoveling, and that's when you run into problems. the weather has had impact on travel, a lot of flights cancelled at logan yesterday and today. my flight last night was cancelled. but we're not far from the airport, and have seen flights take off and land this morning. at least that's some good news, fred. >> a little glimmer of hope there. folks are going to have to just hunker down for the next wave to come. they've had a little experience now, they know what to do. thanks so much, margaret. all this bad weather is hitting just as millions of people have been traveling home from the holidays. it is slow going for people on the roads as well as in the air, as you heard margaret say. flightaware.com says more than 850 cancellations this morning. thousands others cancelled earlier in the week and travel headaches aren't over. more bad news, unless you love this winter weather, then it is good news.
>> we haven't seen any temperatures quite like this in many decades, fredricka. this is a serious situation for many, including everyone heading out to the game for the green bay 49ers game. just a little tidbit here. we had record highs friday in san francisco in the mid-60s. this will be a rude awakening for folks here. we will be flirting with the 1967 ice bowl when we made it down to some 13 degrees below zero. we're going to be very close, especially when it comes to the wind chill factor. game time is at 3:40 on the frozen tundra on lambeau field. we're going to take it hour by hour, as far as wind chill is concerned. you can see how temperatures will be brutal. 18 below at game time. that's the combination of the temperature and wind and how it is going to be feeling for you here. and then as we look at how it progresses, by 5:00, talking 20 below. 23 at 6:00. and let's get further into the
evening. by the end of the game, we're going to be around 26 below as far as wind chill factor is concerned. this is a serious cold, like you were saying, you can get frost bitten in minutes if you don't have mittens on and hat and face covered up. we know how green bay fans are, they like to show off a bit sometimes andress a little sc t scantily. talking temperatures that will break records in the region. in minneapolis, around 18 below for an actual temperature. the record stands at 14 below. we're going to be smashing some records here. in cincinnati and detroit, we've rarely had temperatures below freezing an entire day, only happened five times. looks like it is going to happen as we head into monday here, we are going to see temperatures around 11 below, cincinnati, staying below zero, and detroit as well. this could be unprecedented
arctic outbreak. we have to watch this carefully and urge people to use common sense. stay in when you can and stay off the roads. >> be careful, this is serious. this has been a deadly storm, too, it is still potentially dangerous with another onslaught. i've had frostbite before, i had it in my feet before. >> so painful. >> it is painful and takes a lot to recover. we're all being warned. thanks so much, samantha. dr. sanjay gupta has advice for anyone braving the deep freeze. more great advice coming your way. plus, actor paul walker died almost instantaneously after his car crashed, according to the coroner's report. we'll have those details right after this.
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the main military basin kabul, there were no international assistance casualties so far. afghan security sources are investigating the explosion. former first lady barbara bush discharged from the hospital after spending a week there this morning. she was admitted to the hospital in houston monday for a respiratory issue, but the family spokesman said she was in great spirits, the former first lady is 88 years old. a death certificate has been issued for a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery. they reached an agreement on transfer of the child. details haven't been determined. she was declared brain dead after a complication following tonsil surgery. coming up, our legal guys will weigh in on the case. and the final coroner's
report on paul walker's death is out and it reveals the actor's life ended just like his movie title, "fast & furious." the 15 page documentary shows they died shortly after the crash. allen duke has details. >> reporter: the coroner's report concludes the death of paul walker was an accident, despite the fact that roger rodas was driving the car well above the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour at 100 plus miles per hour. it was not rules manslaughter, it was ruled an accident. rodas, the driver who could have possibly faced charges as a result of the crash died. in fact, died almost instantly after the car slammed into a light post and a couple trees and burst into flames. the autopsy says it was traumatic injuries they suffered that killed them, along with burns from the car.
the car was destroyed by the fire and these men were severely charred by it, in fact it took dental records to identify the two men. what we found from the autopsy report we wondered about, how long did they live. according to the report not very long. in fact, the study of their trachea showed little soot in there, which would indicate they were not breathing in dark, black smoke from the porsche fire, so that at least may be some comfort to fans and the family who would be led to believe these men didn't suffer that long, and by the way, the movie, "fast and furious 7" set for release in april of 2015. fredricka? >> thank you, allen duke. entertainment websites say his character will be retired, not killed off in the next film. first there was the storm, then the deep freeze.
we'll show you some of the great pictures viewers have been sending us, how they're actually enjoying the conditions. and u.s. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east, trying to broker a peace plan between palestinians and israelis and says all sides have some homework to do. when our little girl was born, we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew up. what? (announcer) the two-thousand-fourteen subaru forester. (girl) what? (announcer) built to be there for your family.
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u.s. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east trying to broker a plan between the israelis and palestinians. it is the ninth time he ventured there since he took over as top diplomat a year ago. nick r robertson is live in jerusalem. five months of meetings. has there been any progress? >> reporter: secretary kerry says on this visit where he already had two meetings with benjamin netanyahu, two meetings with the palestinian negotiators, including the palestinian authority, president mahmoud abbas. in june another meeting with the israelis prime minister this evening. he says there's some progress, not there yet, his words, but says they have some agreement on some issues. they flushed them out. but on the big, hard, tough issues, he says there's still a lot of work to do. what he is trying to get leaders to do is sign up to what he
calls a framework agreement. he describes it as being something where the leaders see where they are now, where they are going, what the game is, what the end result is if you will. by that, he means this will make it easier to get. what it is is perhaps a two stage process, but really what it means is once they agree to the framework, they're locked into going down the path towards an agreement. that's what he is trying to achieve, he says. not there yet. he has meetings tomorrow in jordan and in saudi arabia with the king there. says he will be back in the region in the coming days. meetings here will continue, he says, but clearly, fredricka, still a long way to go yet. >> in fact, four months until a deadline. is there any hope that there will be a real break through? >> reporter: i think what we've seen with the secretary's visit this time is number one, increasing the pressure by coming in with the framework
agreement he wants them to agree to. at the same time, this gives him a mechanism, not there yet, gives him a mechanism, if they get to the deadline, and haven't got the final agreement, if they've at least agreed to this framework, there's a possibility they get to the deadline, in april they agree to the framework, then they continue going all the way until they get a final agreement. so yes, there's still some hope, i think that's the way they're seeing it. there's potential here really for the whole process to be extended beyond that deadline, fredricka. >> all right, nic robertson, thanks for keeping us posted on that. so what's it like to be inside peace talks in the middle east? senior white house correspondent jim acosta talked with george mitchell, former u.s. special envoy to the region about that. >> reporter: you have been in this room before, you know what the negotiations are like, what do you think is happening, what should be expected? >> well, first i commend
secretary kerry for the effort he's put into this, persistence, perseverance, and leadership is appreciated all around. there are several difficulties. the objective initially was to reach full agreement within nine months. that now appears to be not attainable, so it is now the objective to get a framework agreement, which is an outline of an agreement that could then be used as the basis for a full negotiation over a long term. i think it will be difficult but we all have to hope and pray it will succeed. both parties have different points of view on many major issues, so i think it will be a hard task. one of them, jim, will be to define what is a framework agreement. i suspect the israelis based on my own experience in a similar situation will want a shorter, more general agreement. the palestinians will want one more detailed and more specific, at least on the issues that
they're most concerned about, so there will be procedural and substantive issues, but i think in the end the getting an agreement is of such value to both of them, i hope they'll overcome their mistrust and their concerns and reach that framework agreement and go on to negotiate a permanent agreement after that. >> when you have them in the room together, these are the negotiating partners at the table, you know, a lot of experts who look at the region say these aren't the types that are going to form a longer lasting peace. >> it's very difficult on both sides. i personally sat into four meetings that netanyahu and abbas had back during the first term of president obama and there's no doubt that they have a long history that goes back and it is not a positive one, but at the same time they both do represent people and in both societies i believe that there is a valuable benefit that will
come from getting an agreement. for the israelis who have a state, a successful one, they want security for their people and are entitled to it. the palestinians don't have a state and want one and they're entitled to have that. >> that was george mitchell with jim acosta. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is headed to saudi arabia sunday to discuss the progress of the peace talks with king abdullah. back at home, despite the deep freeze, thousands of football fans are headed out for the game this weekend. up next, dr. sanjay gupta says if you have to go, he has advice to stay warm and safe in frigid conditions. %
rough and dry. along came gold bond, rich, absorbs quickly. legs look healed, healthy. gold bond. ultimate lotion, ultimate skin. as the storm blew through, cnn viewers are sharing pictures and videos. jennifer is watching social media. folks, while it is uncomfortable, and it is very dangerous, potentially dangerous, people are having a little fun with cameras in the snow. >> people are taking a lot of pictures out in the snow, having fun and a good time, there are also more serious ones. other ones like this. it can be hard to navigate in the snow. that's a bus in new york.
looks like it got caught and started smoking as taxis are trying to go around it. that can be a little tough. then we go to a frozen balcony in pennsylvania. she calls it a winter wonderland. in new jersey, thank adam reed for this picture of someone snow skiing across the ocean city beach. >> is that what he is doing. >> might as well, if you can brave temperatures, while you can, get out, get some exercise, enjoy that out there. over to brooklyn new york, tamara peterson says this is a man walking a dog. you can't tell, the person is bundled up. city streets are covered in snow there. >> i can relate to that. me, i have always had a dog. when i was in a snowy place,
can't walk on the sidewalk because it hasn't been plowed, you walk in the street because it has been plowed. >> safest spot in the middle of the street. >> but it is beautiful. >> absolutely. in times square, people were taking selfies, talked about this, 2013, word-of-the-year was selfie. looks like these folks decided to not ask anyone to take a picture for them, they got cold themselves, turned the camera around, did that. fredricka, i am from minnesota, i know how brutally cold it can be out there. the temperatures are low up there now, too, so we want to see people's pictures, want to see their videos, but we know how cold it can be. take a picture from inside. send to cnn.com/ireport. >> thanks. good to see you. despite the cold and ice and snow, thousands of football fans are die hard and are headed out anyway to watch their teams this weekend, including in green bay where forecasters say it could
be one of the coldest games played in the nfl. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has ways to stay warm and safe while outside. >> fred, most doctors would say if you can, try to minimize time outdoors as a first step. of course, fans going to the games don't want to hear that. if they're at the game, maybe get inside to a heated bathroom, some area that's heated even for a few minutes, that's going to help. look, a lot changed in terms of the ways we can stay warm, materials like gortex help. let me give you a couple things that may surprise you. you want to layer loosely. layer but do it loosely. wear a hat, even a silly one. 20% of body heat is lost through the head. cover exposed skin, fingers, toes, ears, nose, they're
susceptible to frostbite, throw the cheeks in as well. if they're looking red, that's what you expect. when they turn white, and somebody that's with you may notice this, that's when you're at real risk of developing frostbite. two biggest concerns, frostbite and hypothermia, just lowering body temperature. i will tell you that, again, this may surprise you, eating a big meal could be helpful, you create something called therapy oh genesis. increase production of heat. drinking alcohol could have the opposite effect, it could lower body heat because you radiate too much. general rule of thumb. temperatures we're talking about, about 15 minutes before you develop frostbite. keep an eye on things, stay safe, get inside as much as possible. >> thanks for that advice, sanjay gupta. catch his show today, 4:30 eastern here on cnn.
gas prices dipped slightly after going up for about two weeks, the national average is $3.32 a gallon now, according to aaa, and the lowest prices in the country are in montana where they're paying just about $3 a gallon. a church is heartbroken after their priest was found dead new year's day. now they're outraged to learn the prime suspect got police's attention twice starting the day before and was released. what police have to say about that next.
police are uncovering the events that led up to the murder of a priest on new year's day, and it is a grim picture. it appears the man accused in the death was actually in police custody just hours before. here is david mattlingly. >> fredricka, with the suspect in custody, there are questions about how local law enforcement did their job. could the murder of father eric freed have been prevented?
gary bullock already confronted law enforcement twice, got arrested, spent eight hours in jail, all in less than a day before he became the suspect in the murder of beloved eureka priest, father eric freed. arrested by hum bolt deputies for public intoxication during the day new year's eve, bullock had to be taken from the county jail for a high heart rate. he acted up at the hospital and had to be physically restrained by deputies before being taken back to jail. court records show bullock was already on probation for misdemeanor cocaine possession. a spokesman for the sheriff says the department was not required to hold him until a judge reviewed the case, so he was let go. bullock only had to walk three blocks to saint bernard church where he was described as making strange noises. a security guard called eureka city police that didn't know details of the problems bullock
just had at the county jail. >> they saw the paperwork that he is released on a public intoxication charge after being held for i think eight hours. >> eureka officers decided bullock wasn't doing anything illegal and didn't qualify for emergency psychological hold. >> they asked him specific questions about himself, he asked for housing, he asked for a place to stay for the night. >> so they didn't arrest him. instead, officers directed bullock to a nearby shelter and watched him walk away. police now say bullock never went to the shelter and was spotted shortly thereafter back at the church. this time police aren't called. the sequence of events at that point are still being put together. investigators are relying heavily on surveillance video from cameras at the church, they'll also be seeing whatever they can learn from the autopsy which is being conducted today. fredricka?
>> thanks, david mattlingly. investigators are examining a camera attached to michael shoe maker's ski helmet. the formula one driver is in a french hospital in an induced coma. he suffered severe head injuries from a ski accident last weekend. cnn's christina mcfarland takes us to the accident scene. >> reporter: it was here on this ski slope on a sunny day in the resort that michael shoemaker set out with friends and 14-year-old son for a ski run that would end in disaster when he fell and struck his head on a rock. this is the area where it is said he fell just a few days ago. it is a small area between the two pieces here. if you look down, you can see rocks jutting to the left and right and there's some fairly large holes under the surface of the snow. the first people to respond to the scene were ski patrol. they were located a short distance away in this hut.
one helped to direct the rescue operation. >> it is normal procedure for us having a witness saying someone felt some blood on the head. for us, we knew it was a quick rescue to proceed. this area is off base and clearly understood. people understand it was off base. we have many, many slopes behind us you can see the limits. maybe you can see there, the limit between the slope and outside the slope is something which is -- seemed to be obvious for us, and seemed to be obvious for the skiers. >> reporter: a local ski instructor tells us snow conditions have been very uncertain in recent days. >> it is weird, yes, it is not clear, it is not as usual when you have much snow because it is all white. you think there are many, but no, there are not many actually. there are rocks everywhere. >> reporter: so this whole area
here is quite choked up, icy in places and bumpy. knows exactly the easiest ski ride. i came to see for myself how the snow felt. we traced the root. that was difficult and tricky. as i was skiing, snow was deep and i could feel some of the rocks just under the snow. as michael shoemaker remains in intensive care, his injuries prove no skier can be certain of the hidden dangers of skiing off base. and the fight continues for a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead. jahi mcmath's family wants to keep her on a ventilate tore after a tonsillectomy gone wrong. what could be next. the legal guys break it down next. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd.
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the family of a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead by several doctors has reached agreement with the hospital to transfer her, but the details haven't been worked out. dan simon was there for the emotional day in court. >> reporter: there were a few court hearings friday, the most important in alameda county court where this tragic case originated. you have the judge and two sides come up with agreement that would allow an outside medical team to remove her body. that may sound like a simple
issue, but it is complicated. according to the hospital, you're talking about a dead person. they believe certain protocols need to be met to remove a body from the hospital. the family believes she's very much alive, wants to move her to a long term nursing facility. this is what the family lawyer had to say outside court. >> what we needed to know is when all of the balls are in line, that we could move quickly and not have to then have any impediment so that we all understood what the protocol was, there would be no argument about how it would proceed or no unpleasantries at the hospital. so this is a victory in terms of getting us one step closer to move. >> reporter: there's a very big problem as far as the family is concerned. to move her to a long term medical facility, you would have to have a couple of surgical procedures done in advance, including a trak ee ostomy, putting a feeding tube that the hospital says is unwilling to perform those on what it calls a
deceased person, and it is unclear if the family can line up some kind of outside doctor. as for the hospital's attorney, this is what he had to say. he says he has one wish for the family. >> personally, it is horrible that this child has died. it's also horrible that it's so difficult for her family to accept that death and i wish and i constantly think that wouldn't it be great if they were able to come to terms with the terrible tragic event and that i didn't have to stand in front of you all time after time. >> that was the hospital lawyer getting choked up at the end. this is a very complicated, emotional case. you have the hospital, they say they have numerous doctors that say she's brain dead, which they say is synonymous with death itself. on the other hand, you have a family with no intention of letting go. dan simon, cnn, california. >> whatever the final outcome of the case, it raised a lot of legal and ethical questions.
let's bring in the legal guys, avery freedman, civil rights attorney and law professor joining us from cleveland. did i hear you say it was like 30 below? >> yeah, coming up, 30 below, fredricka. >> it is cold. to rub it in, richard herman, joins us from honolulu, where he has swim shorts on. >> aloha! >> all right, gentlemen. now that we established -- >> too much information on that. >> i know. we established the geographic disparities here. let's talk about this, very serious, heart wrenching case. avery, you first. we heard in the report, the family and hospital reached an agreement on a transfer for jahi, but a lot of issues need to be worked out before this is settled, right? if she is declared brain dead, which is tantamount to death, why agree to a transfer? seems like a mixed message here.
>> might be a mixed message to the public. legally, it means the hospital says you want to do this with a dead body, you can do that. here is the interesting thing, there's no dispute. jahi has been dead scientifically and legally since the 12th of december. this is the 4th of january. fredricka, after three weeks, the brain is dead, the functions are starting to -- organs are starting to deteriorate. there's an american value of rereligion ee os tee, we get that, can't imagine the unspeakable suffering of jahi's mother, but the idea of creating an expectation of prolonging this is just i think wrong and i think frankly it is immoral. legally, they don't have a doctor lined up, don't have a facility. if they do, then we'll see what happens. this is the end of it. legally, morally, this is over. >> richard, for a tonsil surgery
to go bad, or at least it resulted in this young girl's situation, are you looking at a potential legal fight for this family, malpractice suit, anything like that as they also deal with how far to take this issue of her being brain dead and being transferred. >> i'm sure, fred, they'll explore every avenue, look into whether or not there was medical malpractice. you know, a young girl goes in for tonsillectomy, comes out of the procedure, goes into massive cardiac arrest, and is left in this very long at a time i have state. i don't know if it could be foreseen, if it was avoidable or if the hospital did anything negligent, but it is a gut wrenching case here. it is my understanding they have made arrangements to have a surgical team come in, remove the ventilator that's in place now, insert a new ventilator and feeding tube and take her to
another facility. the girl, the mother keeps saying i see signs of recovery, i see signs of recovery. there's no sign of recovery here, it is just devastating and this young girl unfortunately has passed. >> and all of that. >> that's right. >> despite the fact that a coroner issued a death certificate. i wonder in general, can a family legally challenge the doctors or the hospital whether someone is being denied treatment because those doctors have said she is brain dead, there's no hope for her, but the family still believes more can be done. avery, what kind of legal recourse does a family have to insist more medically should be done because they don't believe she's dead. >> right. that's exactly the issue. whatever negligence or wrongful death occurred before this, that's a separate issue than the one you raise. there's no constitutional right, once there's a legal determination based on science
and certainty of continuing this matter, there's no legal basis for suit. three lawsuits have been filed in california. every judge concluded that the hospital was right in not continuing treatment. whether there's basis or not, it is a closed case, it is not. let's see what happens after this. >> you'll be back with us to talk about another heart breaking case, nfl linebacker jeff and belcher killed his girlfriend, then himself. why is his mother suing the team, his football team, that's next. (dad) just feather it out. that's right. (son) ok. feather it out. (dad) all right. that's ok. (dad) put it in second, put it in second. (dad) slow it down. put the clutch in, break it, break it. (dad) just like i showed you. dad, you didn't show me, you showed him. dad, he's gonna wreck the car! (dad) he's not gonna wreck the car. (dad) no fighting in the road, please. (dad) put your blinker on. (son) you didn't even give me a chance! (dad) ok. (mom vo) we got the new subaru because nothing could break our old one.
a year after jovan belcher killed his girlfriend and himself, his mother is suing the team, saying it is a result of brain trauma he suffered and nothing was done about it. here is brian todd. >> reporter: a horrific morning, december 1st, 2012. kansas city chiefs linebacker jovan belcher shot his girlfriend kasandra perkins nine times, killing her. in the house, their infant daughter and belcher's mother who made a frantic call to police with the baby crying in the background. >> is she bleeding?
>> yes, she is. >> where is she bleeding from? >> i can't tell, in the back it looks like. >> belcher drove to the chiefs' practice facility, in front of the coach and general manager shot himself. now belcher's mother is suing the chiefs for wrongful death, saying he suffered repeated brain injuries over his four year career, injuries that caused depression, mood swings, suicidal ideations, explosive tee. this is the tackle they say gave him a concussion two weeks before the murder suicide. they claim this nfl clip posted on line by dead spin makes it clear to laymen. they say belcher was never removed from the game. the suit alleges the chiefs ignored the signs and instead berated belcher into playing through injuries. the research into traumatic brain injuries and any connections to violent behavior is evolving. one expert says it is helpful to look at the relationship between hits to these areas of the brain and this part of the brain down here, which controls emotions
and behavior. >> think of the brain not as a hard plastic surface in this model, but like a bowl of jell-o. when there's trauma occurring to the side of the brain, the entire brain can shift, and as a consequence, the opposite side of the brain can smashup against the wall of the skull, and it can effect the lympic system. >> tony door set believes head trauma effected his mental state. >> short tempered, flying off the cuff when there was really not a necessity. >> reporter: growing awareness of head injuries is perhaps the biggest crisis facing the nfl, threatening america's most popular sport. >> in the last three years, pop warner football reported its numbers have fallen by 10%. i think that's very threatening to the nfl. >> reporter: the nfl has, in fact, just settled a lawsuit by thousands of former players for
$765 million. they won't comment on bell which are's mother's lawsuit. kansas city chiefs say they're aware of the suit but won't comment on it. brian todd, cnn, washington. >> no one knows whether jovan belcher was suffering from this specific brain tom a known as cte, but his case is one of many people are asking questions about. our legal guys are back, avery freedman in cleveland, richard herman in honolulu. richard, i'll begin with you. this is a case difficult to prove, why? >> it is extremely difficult to prove, fred. the nfl thought they settled everything in the federal class action. $765 million. all of a sudden some of the players now are suing the teams, not the nfl, the teams. so right now, kansas city chiefs have about 12 lawsuits pending against them, one of them is jovan belcher's. they have to prove causation, fred, have to prove the chiefs
were responsible for causing a condition which we don't even know if ever existed in him, and we have no medical diagnosis of concussion syndrome at all in his four year career. look, football is not like playing poker, it is a violent physical game, and people assume a certain risk when you suit up to play and make millions of dollars in the nfl. >> that's the issue. >> every player plays injured. >> sounds like the family is trying to establish that the kansas city chiefs and the nfl know the signs, that the signs were ignored when he showed characteristics of cte, and they made him play anyway. that's the family's point of view. why will that be difficult for them to prove? >> they're going to have to prove -- >> i think the difficulty here -- >> continue, richard. then you, avery. sorry. >> go ahead. >> it is impossible for them to prove, fred. we don't know, he has no prior
diagnosis of concussion syndrome, so one hit could not have created a situation where he took a gun out and put nine bullets in his girlfriend. >> no, no, no. that's the fact question. that's the fact question. here is what they're doing. they're using -- they've gone to missouri state court. the nfl case was in federal court. nfl isn't even a defendant in this case, strictly the chiefs. they went to missouri court using a 2005 missouri law saying basically worker's comp law that if the employer contributed to some injury, they're liable. that's where this is. problem is a year ago was the murder suicide, he was buried, they exhumed the body about a year later, couple weeks ago. now doctors are going to have to examine it. so where we're in agreement is that there's enormous evidence problem here in contributing to that. what the plaintiff's lawyers want to do is show one film clip
out of an nfl film to say let the case move forward. i think it is a very difficult case. in that respect, we may see a new wave of cases, fredricka, but these are going to be very difficult to prevail in. >> sad situation no matter how you look at it. thanks so much, avery and richard. avery, wear a hat as you venture out. richard, hang ten. have fun out there. good to see you both. catch our legal guys every saturday about this time with their take on the most intriguing cases of the day, week, you name it. they're always the best. thanks so much, guys. all right, pope francis has been known to cold call the faithful, and it happened again. this time in spain. but when the pope called five nuns on new year's eve, the sisters weren't home. so he left a voice mail!
and guess what, experts concur, that is the pope's voice. he jokingly said, quote, what are the nuns doing that they can't answer? then he continued. quote, i am pope francis. i wish to greet you in this end of the year. i will see if i can call you later. may god bless you. that from the pope. the nuns decided they would just wait to call the pope. hopefully he'll call back. good luck on that. we'll have much more on whether he did, indeed, call them back. we're going to have much more ahead in the newsroom, and it all starts right now. here are the top stories we're following in the cnn newsroom. round two. here it comes again. a powerful arctic cold front is going to put nearly half the u.s. in a dangerous deep freez