tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 12, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
complete study. the answer is latvia. it become the 18th nation to adopt euro on the anniversary this monday. if you have any latvian lates convert soon. euro encompasses 330 million people. latvia added 2 million to that total. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i'll see you next week. hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield. these are the top stories. an anxious waiting game for millions of americans whose unemployment benefits have run out. now pinning hopes on congress on the eve of a critical vote. outrage and concern over water com tam nation crisis. hundreds still can't use tap water for drinking, washing or cooking. possible health threats and economic impact of the chemical leak straight ahead. former nba star dennis
rodman wraps up his controversial trip to north korea while his teammate speaks out about their payday. that exclusive cnn interview is just minutes away. lets begin with that critical procedural vote in the battle over unemployment benefits, which is expected in the senate tomorrow. it's up in the air which way it will go after a tense week of debate. people who have lost or will lose their emergency benefits are watching anxiously. dana bash looks at what's holding up lawmakers. >> reporter: this sure didn't sound like senators closing in on a deal. >> lets sit down and talk. we're adults. >> talk about fiddling while rome burns. >> just when there seemed to be hope on extending emergency unemployment benefits, the senate floor devolved into a bitter, angry place.
>> we have continued obstruction that's taking place in this body for five years. it's time to get back to legislating the way we used to. >> the answer to my question i'd say to my friend earlier, no. >> calling someone my friend in the senate usually means the total opposite. >> the answer to your question is no. >> these six republicans crossed party lines earlier in the week and voted with democrats to start the debate extending emergency benefits for americans unemployed longer than 26 weeks. those gop senators refused to vote for passage unless the cost of that extra government help is offset with cuts elsewhere. senator harry reid cut a deal with dean heller on a paid for $18 billion package to extend limited benefits, but the other gop senators didn't like the deal and felt shut out of the process. >> i would say first of all i voted in good faith, one of six
republicans to debate this bill, so solve this problem and i can't get a vote. >> these republicans complaint he wouldn't let them offer amendments. >> i don't even have the ability to offer an amendment my constituents sent me here to do. they didn't send me here to be told sit down and forget it. >> now reid is reversing himself saying he will allow republicans to offer a limited number of amendments. even if that seas rpgs it won't offer the question on funding unemployment benefits and how it will be paid for. tempers are cooling and in discussions with democrats and will be all weekend in hopes of finding a deal by monday. if they do something that gets real bipartisan support in the senate, the question is whether the house speaker who says he won't take up unemployment extensions will be forced to reconsider. fredrica. >> thanks so much dana bash. now to big news out of iran.
just over a week from today iran will start getting rid of its uranium stockpile. that's according to the white house that says iran will dismantle infrastructure that makes high-level enrichment possible. it's part of a deal that was first announced in november. in exchange some sanctions against iran will be eased. president obama calls it a big deal saying, quote, with today's agreement we have made concrete progress. i welcome this important step forward. we will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over iran's nuclear program, end quote. former defense secretary robert gates sets off a firestorm with his tell-all book, "duty, memoirs of a secretary at war." gates makes harsh judgments about congress and the obama administration calling it
hypocritical. >> i didn't enjoy it. there is nothing enjoyable about a job where you put men and women in harm's way for their country's sake. nothing. >> gates served four and a half years under president george w. bush and president barack obama. he says he stayed on the job out of duty to the troops calling it the biggest honor of his life. joining us live with more on the interview with cbs. he had some tough talk for president obama especially when it comes to the war in afghanistan. >> reporter: fred, he does. even republicans are questioning why he didn't wait until president obama left office because they worry it undermines his authority on the world stage as commander in chief. he defended himself as someone who worked for eight presidents he has the perspective to weigh in on the decisions to get in and out of war which is relevant now with the administration trying to wind down the war in afghanistan. here is how he explains his feelings for president obama's approach to that effort.
>> it's one thing to tell the troops that you support them. it's another to work at making them believe that you believe as president that their sacrifice is worth it, that the cause is just, that what they are doing is important for the country and that they must succeed. president bush did that with the troops when i was secretary. i did not see president obama do that. i said, as i write in the book, there was this absence of passion, this absence of a conviction of the importance of success that disturbed me. >> what he wrote about vice president biden was even tougher than that comment. what's interesting, though, as biden and hillary clinton both
consider presidential runs of their own in 2016, he had much kinder words for clinton even though he judged her as being too political at times. he said clinton was one of his closest allies and listen how he described her in the cbs interview. >> the thing that i like best about secretary clinton, other than the fact she has a great sense of humor, was she's very tough minded. >> do you think she'd make a good president? >> actually i think she would. >> now, we'll be seeing a lot more of days in the coming weeks or so as he embarks on a media tour to explain more how he felt about the administration. you'll be seeing a lot of it this week, fred. >> thank you so much. in without two hours, west virginia's governor will give an update on a water contamination emergency that has left 300,000 people in his state with no clean tap water for three days.
a chemical used to wash coal leaked into the water supply on thursday. residents hope the governor will have some answers about when the water just might be able to resume out of their tap. our alreporter covering the sto. has the governor given any indication about what he will be saying later today? >> fredricka, the governor tells us the chemical levels seem to be going down. that's good news. still saying could be several days before the ban is lifted. residents really are just eager to get things back to normal. >> as soon as we can, freshwater, clean water. >> that's the plea from 300,000 people learning tap water is safe. it's been more than 48 hours since they were told to stop using the water. the end is still unknown. >> i would expect we are talking
days. >> to think the city will be this slow for so many days. >> you feel hopeless. you think about the -- what is going to cost all these businesses. >> that's the mayor in downtown charleston where every restaurant has been closed since thursday when the chemical week was detected. >> i almost forgot it was a weekend. it's always so busy. >> lisa crouch manages this chili's. she said they were one of the few restaurants opening after getting the green light and taking special precautions. >> bottled water only for han advertising, bathrooms and sinks set up with sanitizer, water station, paper towels. make sure if we cook we use gloves. >> authorities continue to test water for the chemical used to clean coal.
in the meantime, the main priority for thousands is finding water safe to use. fema set truckloads of water for that task. >> people are anxious because they don't have certainty what's going on. we are, too. we don't know how long this is going on. it doesn't make sense to panic right now. we still have options. >> that chili's restaurant in downtown charleston is open. it's now open. we just stopped and checked things out. it is very busy, as you might imagine, fredricka. we stopped by and had a bite ourselves. >> i'm sure the lines will be long. thanks very much, alina machado, appreciate that. former nba star talking about rice controversial trip to north korea with dennis rodman. smith sat right next to rodman in the heated interview with chris cuomo last week. today he said that the trip put a lot of pressure on rodman but smith doesn't regret anything.
he said the north korean government did not pay them. but he told christi paul that they did get compensated. >> first of all, two fold. one, absolutely we were paid. it wasn't as much as guys usually get paid when they do stuff with me or our group. absolutely. >> how much was it then? >> that's a -- >> let me finish answering the question. >> go ahead. >> it's no different than the top ceo of a company retiring and becoming a consultant. so if anybody has an issue with us being compensated. that's absurd. >> how much were you paid. >> that was the answer to your -- why should i mention -- it's none of anyone's business why we get paid. >> i think it gets to motive, though. >> there's no reason to answer that. >> it gets to motive. >> listen, why does it have to be -- >> why would a person go to
north korea for a birthday gift for kim jong-un and the first half talked about cultural exchange. >> victor, we already -- >> now we're talking about -- >> i think people are wondering who paid you. >> we already answered the question. we already answered the question about the birthday date. we're beyond that. >> okay. >> what i'm saying to you is why would anybody have an issue with us being compensated. along with our documentary crew paid for the expenses and gave guys honoraryium to do the trip. when i say it wasn't about money, more about the trip. i had an opportunity to a recluse country, invited by olympic committee which ensured our safe passage which they did. it was an experience. i have no regrets at all. i think i spent most of my time
with a gentleman who was the sports minister in north korea. we shared a lot of stories about he played soccer there in north korea. we shared a lot of stories about sports and how they train and different things. i believe -- i don't know in the foreseeable future, but i believe there are going to be positive outcomes from this. >> the nba's commissioner has a different take on this trip and the issue of compensation. david stern denounced the trip and rachel nichols told our team sterns thinks money did play a role. >> i had the opportunity to ask david stern when he was a guest on "the situation room" with wolf blitzer why a guy like charles smith would take this smith. we know charles is a different guy than dennis rodman who tends to do this thing. we wouldn't expect this from charles. he said, look, i think the guys were blinded by the payday. i know that was the topic at the
end of the conversation with charles smith and i do think money was a factor. >> others using diplomacy think it was a bad idea. charles smith painted it as a success. yesterday i asked hamer kareem abdul jabbar what he thought. >> i think it certainly back fired on them. i don't think they could have known, so much isn't known about north korea. it's a very unpredictable place. the leadership there can do some bizarre thing. caution is usually the best way to approach situations like that. when you have no idea of what's going to happen, it's usually a wise thing to do to stay away from those situations. >> a group of players returned last week but rodman was not
among them. a permit to hunt a black rhino sold to the highest bidder. how much did it fetch? up next. also hurricane winds tear through raleigh, north carolina. under construction collapsing on the ground. updates after this. hey guys! sorry we're late. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ]
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pile. >> saw my neighbor's patio furniture flying through the parking lot. i went down and waited. >> wind gusts reached 80 miles per hour knocking down trees and power lines. along with that wind, heavy rain, tornado watches and flood warnings across the region. in georgia, firefighters successfully arrested a teenager from a mobile home after she was trapped by a fallen tree. >> used an airbag to place underneath the tree to pick it up with air so we could get her out. >> high winds were a big problem in the west, too. here is a report from montana. >> you can see how strong they are, blowing around the light post in browning, causing damage across the area. so windy, it is hard to stand up. >> check out damage krtv mike rollins talking about. trucks blown all over interstate
15. meanwhile welcome relief in parts of the midwest with temperatures higher than normal. in st. louis, all they needed was sweat shirts for a trip to the zoo. >> last week i had to wear bib overalls, hats, gloves, coat, scarf, quite a bit of a stuff, a big difference. >> jennifer gray, cnn, atlanta. then in texas, an anonymous bidder paid $350,000 for a permit to kill an endangered black rhino. the controversial auction has been criticized by wildlife advocates. despite protests, the dallas safari club went ahead with it anyway. they say the money will be donated to save the threatened species. on the phone joining us from dallas, there were protests outside the auction venue, went there? >> there were, about 40 people turned out at the dallas
convention center to protest the auction for a hunting permit of a black rhino on the southern african continent. this is the first time they have allowed a hunting permit to be auctioned off outside of its own country. according to dallas, last time the most money ever paid for one of these hunting permits before was $223,000. they set a record with this hunting permit selling for $350,000. they said all procedures will be donated to help preserve and protect black rhino. this sparks a fascinating debate. on both sides you have people who say they have best interest of the black rhino. animal rights groups saying this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. this animal should have left alive and used to build ecotourism, give people a chance
to see a black rhino up close. maintenancers are saying this is a good way to protect the black rhino, which is a critically endangered species. there's only 5,000 of them left across the world. 1700 are there. what they are saying the government allows for killing of one rhino that's been essentially picked out out of two or three. they say it's an old geriatric male no longer contributing to the population. they say it's also a threat to younger, stronger rhinos. because of that it's a better fit to the herd to eliminate it. they are using this as an opportunity to raise $350,000 for conservation efforts which all sides will agree us much needed money. it really has sparked a fascinating debate on the best way to help save the black rhino. >> ed lavandera, thanks so much from dallas. we're not done talking about this topic. we'll talk to the executive director of the dallas safari
club. he'll be joining us to talk about the auction and the notion of conservation next hour. all right. the super bowl, it is the game to go to, right? if you can afford the tickets. one says price gouging has gone syfertly way too far. coming up we'll tell you what he's doing about that. next you're supposed to be looking out for us, ordinary americans. most members of congress can't really relate to our money worries say many. we'll tell you why. farmer: hello, i'm an idaho potato farmer. and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what?
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in new jersey this week, a state legislative panel will pick up its investigation into the bridge cloer scandal. the head of the panel, who was a democrat told nbc news he thinks the closing of lanes on the bridge between new jersey and new york city was a crime. new jersey governor chris christie has denied he had any prior knowledge of the closures. the dust hasn't settled yet. could it affect governor christie if he makes a presidential run? in a political editor paul steinhauser has a look. >> reporter: hey, fred. the next race for the white house doesn't kickoff until after the elections but this week's firestorm surrounding chris christie could have a
major impact on the 2016 presidential contest. >> i come out here today to apologize to the people of new jersey. >> the republican governor's trademark swagger and bluster was gone. he says the buck stops with him. >> ultimately i am responsible for what happens under my watch. the good and the bad. and when mistakes are made, then i have to own up to them. >> christie is seriously considering a white house run. if he does launch a bid, polls indicate he would be a leading contender for the republican presidential nomination. while christie and to hit all the right notes at his news conference, with new documents emerging and more investigation to come, he's got little political wiggle room. the consensus from many democrats and republicans is this isn't going away any time soon. a former republican governor of new jersey says -- >> look, this is going to hang around. not going to get away with it. it's a bad mark on his record.
>> besides hurting christie's image and standing, this controversial impacts government's aspirations in another way. >> he was asked to leave my organization. >> that's one of christie's top political advisers, the man who steered his two gubernatorial elections and would have had a leading role in any christie presidential campaign. >> thanks so much, paul. all right. when the united states was a young country, the people who governed in washington were not always rich. but now things have changed and new reports said more than half of the current members of congress are millionaires. tom foreman has details. >> reporter: hey, fredricka, this mump is clear. when it comes to congress, the rich are getting richer. >> affordable housing to the american people. >> democrats are standing for the middle class families. >> middle class americans. >> reporter: despite all the talk about economic hard times
from lawmakers, the center for responsive politics has fountain the median net worth for a congress member is 1,8,767, meaning for the first time just over 50% are millionaires. that's a lot because when you think about the rest of the population only about 3% of us can call ourselves millionaires. look who has all the money in congress. leading the list is darrell issa from california, a republican with a net worth of $464 million. can you go to virginia to find the top democrat mark warinner, $2557. another democrat in third, jared polis, based on in come from 2012 tax returns. they are slightly richer than republican colleagues and senators are much richer than members of the house. senate majority leader harry reid worth over $4 million.
speaker of the house republican john boehner has about a half million less than that. still they all get salaries for a regular member of congress that's $174,000 taxpayer dollars every year or four times as much as an average american would make in the same period of time. how do they invest their wealth. center for response found the top stock picks for members of congress include general electric, wells fargo and microsoft to name a few. as a general principle they like to invest in real estate and big oil and credit card companies and big banks and securities. indeed, in many of the businesses they are often called upon to investigate and regulate for the rest of us. fredricka. >> thanks so much, tom foreman. the biggest game of the year also comes with the biggest price tag. how much people are paying to get to the super bowl. next.
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fredricka. former nba player charles smith said and and a team of players led by dennis rodman accomplished their basketball diplomacy mission in north korea. smith was at rodman's side last week during a testy interview with chris cuomo on new day. he said the visit was not about politics but about interacting with north korean people. the day after that exchange rodman sparked more controversy by singing happy birthday to north korean leader kim jong-un. earlier he spoke exclusively with cnn to set the record straight about the trip to one of the most reclusive nations in the world. >> i absolutely understand why so many people are angry. that's why i went. when we don't have information, it creates -- lack of information causes a sense of fear. what we don't know, we tend to, you know, draw opinions that may or may not be true. i'm not defending north korea by far, i'm just explaining to you
what i saw. >> turning on bleacherreport.com, today is the rare nba rain delay. leaky roof at the verizon center caused two delays in the game between wizards and rockets. actually had to bring out trash cans to catch falling water. first stop play 45 minutes. what do you do that long? if you're dwight harris find the smallest kids in the stands to play with. the kid had good moves. goes in for the layup and he says not in my house. still a pretty cool moment. i'm sure that kid will never forts it. the bleacher report. back to you, fredricka. >> that is so wrong. thank you, andy. nfl and new england patriots dominated in a huge win at home. they beat indianapolis colts 43-22. the patriots advance to the afc championship game. over on the nfc side, seattle
seahawks beat new orleans saints 23-15. fans made that stadium shake literally again. all that noise and stomping registered on earthquake sensors in that area. the seahawks and patriots are now one step closer to the super bowl. but for fans to get the big game, it has nothing to do with skill or even luck. it's all about how deep your pockets are. john burman has more on one fan who simply had enough. >> reporter: fred, how would you like to play thousands of dollars to sit in freezing cold temperatures off exit 16w of the new jersey turnpike. how awesome is that? some people want to do that. they want to see the super bowl in person next month in new jersey. but the big game comes with a big, big price tag. now one man is becoming a hero to the doup trodden fan, suing to get those prices lower.
it's packed with superstar athletes, super charged performances, and it promises super high television ratings. but if you're looking for a seat inside new jersey's metlife stadium. >> average fan, true fan really can't afford to go to the game and enjoy it. they have to watch it at home. >> average super bowl ticket price has risen by $200 in the past five years. that's just face value. tickets for super bowl xlviii are once again soaring into the thousands via secondary markets like stub hub and ticket exchange. one is so upset he's suing nfl after shelling out $4,000 for two tickets, much higher nan face value. >> corporate bigwigs taken tickets. >> his lawsuit claims it violates consumer fraud act by only releaseing a meeting ar 1% to the public through the lottery system leaving majority
susceptible to enormous price gouging. >> with demand being so intense and supply, right, being so low, obviously you have gouging. it becomes problematic for the common fan who wants to go to the game. >> according to the nfl, roughly 75% of tickets are given out to individual teams, who in turn are supposed to sell a percentage at face value to fans. but the lawsuit a little teams instead offer them in large part to retailers who grossly inflate the price. >> i think more people should have access to the tickets. >> the law claims one such reseller packaged their tickets for a whopping $19,000. in a statement to cnn the nfl claimed the super bowl ticket distribution process has been in existence for year and is well documented. we are confident it's in compliance with all applicable laws. fred. >> my goodness. thanks so much john berman. u.s. carmakers bounce way
back from depths of recession. find out why 2013 was the industry's best performance in years. i make great money. if i didn't want to play tennis again, i wouldn't have to work the rest of my life. i do respect the money i made. it's important to look back to those day, i really came from nothing. we had a dream and i had a talent and moved to the united states. >> paid off at wimbledon, grand tours followed u.s. open and australian open. in 2012 she won french open and creted a grand slam. >> i don't know if it's lucky or
fell into place, the four grand slams i won, they were different. who knows what the future will bring me and who knows what i may add to that list. so far i can say, yeah, i'm pretty fortunate to be one of the few that has achieved that. [ female announcer ] you get sick, you can't breathe through your nose...
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wall street this week will be digesting news aflac luster employment report for december. the weakest for job growth since 2011. christine romans breaks it down for us. >> these job numbers a big disappointment and a dash to end expectations the job market ended better to finish the year. 74,000 jobs created. the labor department said such slim hiring it was so darn cold you didn't have a lot of hiring because people frozen out of the labor market.
6.7% the unemployment rate. on paper should be a good thing. lower unemployment rate. the reason it fell, so many people simply stopped looking for work. i always like to look at the trend. the trend had been improving. in november 40,000 new jobs created. that solid, solid number. then in december this mystery disappointment. economists expected 200,000. a big miss. quickly, construction jobs, no surprise, it was so cold. mining jobs lost and health care jobs down 6,000. that has been a steady performer. there was a hiccup at the end of the year. jobs lost in health care. all in all a disappointing report. an unemployment rate lowest in years but for all the wrong reasons. fredricka. >> thanks so much. despite the job growth, the u.s. has been in recovery mode
for most of the last year. one of the big drivers of growth has been the car industry. u.s. carmaker sold 15.6 million cars last year. it was their best year since 2007. add 173,000 jobs in the last years. joining me from the "wall street journal," good to see you. >> good to see you. good afternoon. >> why are auto sales the bright spot kind of revving the economy? >> one of the big things, have you to understand u.s. auto industry upd went massive restructure, able to close dozens of plants, union contracts rewritten. in the case of gm and chrysler, they were able to clean up their balance sheets during bankruptcy. all this helped them come out stronger on the other end. on the consumer demand side, during the downturn there was a lot of people who delayed new car purchases.
so as the economy showed signs of improving, there's a lot of pent up demand. people came back to showrooms. on top of that, there was low interest rates, greater availability of credit. really the u.s. car market has bounced back much faster than expected. despite all the other choppiness in the economic recovery. >> a big bounceback as it pertains to sales as you underscored but also in the form of jobs. i mentioned 173,000 jobs added over the last four years. we're talking mostly car companies and parts manufacturers were the big benefactors here. do you see there's more of the same? >> well, industry sales will increase again next year but they are showing signs of leveling out. a lot of analysts concerned demand for new cars starting to
plateau. i think some growth, shift added, investment in new plants. at the same time supplies of new cars rising. we also had automakers cut back on production. i think we'll see some more growth. how much more growth in the automotive job market largely depends on where sales end up the next couple of years. >> the big detroit auto shows starting this week, journalists get to see good stuff first and general public gets to see it later in the week. what are you looking forward to? what do you think will be showcased that will keep the car industry in high gear, so to speak. >> i think one of the big launches, one of the launches that will get the most buzz is the new ford f-150 pickup truck. this truck is a major milestone not only for ford but the industry. it's expected to be mostly out
of aluminum. there's some sport cars that have aluminum cars but this is a toemgts breakthrough for a mass market vehicle like this to have much of its body built out of aluminum. i think that's going to create a lot of buzz. aside from that, aside from the reveals, which there will be many, this is kind of the show where all the top executives show up. they meet with the press. so expect a lot of industry to come out of this. one of the first time gm's ceo is going to be talking to the press. we watch and hear what she has to say about gm going forward. so i think it's going to be a really good show. we'll also keep watch of kind of how people are feeling about the industry going into the new year. should be a good show. >> exciting stuff. christina rogers, thank you so much from detroit. >> thank you for having me. >> hollywood is ready to kick
off award season tonight with big golden globes. who could be the night's big winner? hey guys! sorry we're late. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪
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[ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. hall we do is go out to dinner.? that's it? i mean, he picks up the tab every time, which is great...what? he's using you. he probably has a citi thankyou card and gets 2x the points at restaurants. so he's just racking up points with me. some people... ugh! no, i've got it. the citi thankyou preferred card. now earn 2x the points on dining out and entertainment, with no annual fee.to apply, go to citi.com/thankyoucards participation is high ahead of one of hollywood's hottest nights, the golden globes awards. everyone buzzing about which movies and stars will win.
a.j. hammer has a preview. >> reporter: the golden globes is a party like no other. there are three things you can basically count on, champaign will be flowing before the show starts, it will end when it's supposed to and there will be fierce competition in between. this year one of the biggest golden globes showdowns is the battle between the outerspace extravaganza, gravity and "12 years a slave." two vying for best drama. the spectacle of gravity could push it over the top. an all-out war between living legend and newcomer. robert redford, "all is lost hchlt a sailor fighting to stay alive at sea. stunning portrayal. and ejiofor, his performance unforgotable. get this, this is the first time robert redford has ever been
nominated for a golden globe. it would be nice to see him take it home. whoever takes it for lead actor that's up for grabs. lead actress, cate blanchett, "blue jasmine." blanchett a two-time golden globes winner. i'd be surprised if she didn't take home a movie. one more powerhouse movie i've got to mention, american hustle, tops with seven nods along with "12 years a slave." fred, the word american hustle is pretty much shoo-in for golden globes for best motion picture comedy or musical. it's going to be a terrific night on sunday. >> it is, indeed, thanks so much, a.j. hammer. watch a.j. don't miss michelle turner's reports live from the golden
the marriages will be recognized on a federal level even though they are in limbo on the state level. here is athena jones. >> they are hoping this will persuade the governor he's made a mistake refusing to recognize same sex married. same sex newlyweds in salt lake city, utah spent friday celebrating. >> it's an electric time to be in salt lake. >> reporter: the last few weeks have been a whirlwind for more than a thousand couples like them. are they married or aren't they? the top lawman in the land settled that question, at least on the federal level with friday's announcement. >> i am confirming today for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful. >> the fight began december 20th when a federal judge declared utah's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional because it denied same-sex couples the right to equal
protection and due process. many counties of the state began issuing marriage licenses. the ruling took this couple by surprise. still they were the first to take advantage tying the knot the same day. >> when we knew we could actually be legally married in utah where we live, work, go to school, we dropped everything and ran out the door. >> then the state appealed to the u.s. supreme court. on monday they blocked enforcement of the district court ruling until the constitutional questions are fully resolved. >> the order states the decision of the district court pending a decision by the 10th circuit court of appeals. >> wednesday they said they won't recognize until the issue is settled in the court. >> it robbed us of due process, animus towards lgtb people. >> that left them in limbo until the attorney general stepped in.
>> these families should not be required to endure uncertainty. >> gay rights applaud the move, one that signals obama administration taking a more active role in a legal and social debate heating up in recent years, one that's far from over. >> this is not a gay rights issue, this is a human rights issue. >> federal appeals court could hear arguments as soon as march. fred. >> thanks so much, athena. in the film "soul survivor" we learn of four people who were the only survivors of airplane crashes. one man walked away from a crash that killed 70 people including his father. he now lives enrein reno, nevad the city where his life changed forever. >> this the airport where we took off january 21st, 1985.
i didn't move here to be near the crash scene, it was more -- i don't know. >> you think really deep about what you're doing with your life and all the people that were involved with this accident that may have done more with their life. you feel guilty you're not using your life to do something better. >> he always talks about -- sometimes he's depressed about it. he's like why am i still here. i made a fool out of myself. i'm not even doing anything with my life. it makes me sad. >> during the course of my life, the last 25 years, i have been curious to know what makes a person feel from a situation like me. i haven't been able to talk to anybody who has been through what i've been through. >> you can follow his jou