♪ o christmas tree ♪ how lovely are your branches ♪ o christmas tree ♪ o christmas tree ♪ how lovely are your branch branches ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ o christmas tree ♪ o christmas tree ♪ above the tree your ♪ we faithfully ♪ ♪ o christmas tree ♪ o christmas tree ♪ we faithfully unchanging good morning and welcome to a special holiday edition of
"new day." it is thursday december 25th, christmas morning. 6:00 in the east, i'm chris cuomo, along with alisyn camerota and michaela pereira and we're joined by the young people's chorus of new york city. what a beautiful version of "o christmas tree" they just gave us, by the way, they have a new album called "cool side of yule tide" it's available in both itunes and cd baby. we have a big show for you, we're going to look back at 2014. all the big news stories. the disappearance of flight 370, up and until ferguson. >> so merry christmas, you guys, so great to be with you. we're also going to bring you a religious round table. have a conversation about the role that faith has played in the headlines this year. >> and in case you'd rather not watch "a christmas story" eight times straight, we run down a list of the movies you need to
catch during the holidays. >> first a check of the news. >> good morning and merry christmas, i'm alison kosik, pope francis addressing the plight of christians and minorities suffering under the hands of isis. the pontiff is calling for tenderness following a violence-plagued year. let's get to john allen, live on the ground in rome. john? >> hi, allison, you're right, pope francis is delivering his traditional christmas message, known as the urbi et orbi message. the pope is calling for an end to what he described as a brutal persecution in iraq and syria. that he said has gone on for far too long. this caps what has been a message of outreach to the victims of persecution in the middle east by the pope this christmas time. on tuesday he released an open letter to those christians, calling for an end to the
violence that's plaguing them. last night in a surprise gesture, he made a phone call to people living in a refugee camp living outside erbil. in addition he's expressing consolation and hope to victims of violence elsewhere, including the central african republic in congo and expressing sympathy for victims of the ebola virus and for children living under conditions of hardship. it's a message of consolation and hope on christmas day, allison. >> john allen, liven in rome. midnight mass in new york offering reassurance to a troubled city, the cardinal noting the presence of new york city mayor bill de blasio and governor andrew cuomo. dolan addressed the tensions in the city between protesters calling for police reform and those mourning the murder of two police officers. dolan called those killings
senseless and irrational in his homily. he urged political leaders to quote invite us to dialogue, to listen instead of shouting. violence erupting in berkeley, missouri, right outside ferguson, where a teen was shot dead bay cop tuesday night. demonstrators swarmed a gas station where antonio martin was gunned down. demonstrators held a die-in and blocked a highway. several angles of surveillance video have been released of the confrontation between martin and police, it appears to show the teen pointing what looks like a gun at the officer. a weapon was recovered at the scene. former president, george h.w. bush remains hospitalized this morning. but aides say the 90-year-old father of george w. bush had a good day on wednesday, the elder bush was taken to a houston hospital tuesday night suffering shortness of breath. he was hospitalized in 2012 in bronchitis and took two months
to recover. but the chief of staff tells cnn this is not two years ago, gene becker says it's a hiccup, he should come home in a few days. the comedy "the interview" set to hit about 300 movie theaters across the u.s. today. president obama, who's vacationing in hawaii for the holidays says he's happy sony had a change of heart. >> i'm glad it's being released. merry christmas, everybody. >> sell-outs are being reported at some theaters that have decided to show the movie. if you can't see it in theaters, check it out online. it's now streaming for a price on several sites, including youtube, google play and the microsoft xbox video game console. a few of the kids calling norad's santa tracker hotline got an unexpected christmas present, phone time with first lady michelle obama. the fifth year mrs. obama has answered the call. she spent a lot of time on the phone talking to a few kids.
she told children exactly where santa was and that he would arrive at their homes just after they went to sleep. those are your news headlines, now back to a special holiday edition of "new day." what do you say we begin this morning by talking about the role of faith in some of the biggest headlines of the year. we have a very special group of wise people with us. father dave dwyer host of the busted halo show on sirius xm and reverend christine lee, the vicar for all angels church. and also the first woman, right, ordained within the episcopal church. true. >> first korean-american woman. >> you qualify. great to have all three of you here, merry christmas. let's go through three big topics, the first is let's deal with what's happening right now. the movements for justice. that we saw coming out of the nonindictments and grand juries in ferguson, missouri and of
course eric garner and other cases. let's start with that. do you see god, father in what's going on with these protests in this supposed dialogue of social justice. >> i see god, i see a role for people of faith. not just people of the cloth. that is, that there's so many dimensions of the situation and a lot of people in society i think gravitate to focusing on the facts and the grand jury. i myself was poring over the grand jury's transcripts going what really happened? when as people of faith we realize that sometimes the presenting issue and the facts is just the surface, we need to get at people's heart so i believe certainly as ministers we are trained to listen and go beyond that and say i hear that you're hurting, regardless of what the jury convicts or not, we need to be sensitive to people's emotions. >> in ferguson, when we were there during the early protests that turned into riots, a big distinction between those two things there were a although lot
of clergy there, the main purpose was organizing against the violence. it did seem there was a vacuum of leadership, not to blame them, but just a need. what is the need? how do you talk to people with such a reason for outrage and let them see something past that it's very hard. >> it's very difficult. first of all, historically, we affirm and believe in the right to protest. i mean as americans, that's a value, that's a core value. these protests are good. as long as they're nonviolent. i support them, i pray for the protesters, i'm excited that they're passionate about what they're talking about. and they're expressing their feelings in a peaceful way. the problem comes in when we begin to cast blame and we begin to say, we want to change this. we want to change that. and we have to understand that the only way that those things are going to change is we unify around the set of core values as americans. and come together and there is, therein lies the role of faith. i believe that god would use
people of faith, people of god whl, particularly the clergy to bring people together in a peaceful way to allow a meaningful dialogue to happen. right now we're not having it. we've got people on one side, people on the other side. >> it's hard in the moment. it's hard in the moment. because people feel they're not being heard and that takes me to another aspect of this, reverend, is that the members of people of faith there were saying hey listen, also you have to learn to forgive in situations and there have a lot of people certainly african-american people who are saying, i'm tired of forgiving, ire not going to forgive. yes, i believe, i'm not forgiving, this system is broken, they're coming after us, they're targeting us. how do you bridge that when there is real reasonable basis for their feelings and hostility? how do you bridge that this. >> i think there's a couple things. i think one is of course the role of forgiveness is huge and as christians we have the story of jesus on the cross, while
he's being executed, praying for his enemies, praying for his killers. in faith communities, especially in protests, we have to give people space for the anger and the grief. as well as calling people to forgiveness, there's a communal kind of richness of our traditions, even if you look at the songs, there's room for lament. there's room for corporate confession, there's also room for celebration. and i think there's something very humanizing about being able to acknowledge all of those experiences and saying they're absolutely valid. but this is human, too. if you stay in the place of anger, you become less human. >> there has to be a bridge between the head and the heart. the question is how does faith does do that. let's do it on a different topic. the role of negotiating a relationship with islam that we're going through in the united states right now with tons of prejudice. i think one moment captures it very well with bill maher on his show with ben affleck. do you remember this? >> because it's gross, it's
racist. >> but it's so not. it's like saying -- >> it's so not. >> like saying you're a shifty jew. >> you're not listening to what we're saying. >> how can you have more than a billion people, who just want to -- >> wait a second. >> who you're saying all muslims. >> i are painting a broad brush. the whole religion with that brush. >> you're saying that the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the islamic religion is just a few bad apples? >> the people who would actually believe in an act that you murder somebody if they is not the majority of muslims at all. >> we see the first problem demonstrated there when it comes to faith, you talk at each other, not to each other. at the same time it deals with what is this faith. is it different from the majority christian aspect or judeo christian ethic we have here. father, i'll start with you. reverend what do you say, you're
hearing it from your congregants, you're hearing people say, they're not like us, these are violent angry people we have here. like christians are held blameless when it comes to that. what do you say? >> first of all, you have to know the koran. religions are based on their core beliefs, their holy book, their doctrine. if you really know the crayon, a lot of what's being said is not critique, it's true. and that's really scary. now, people, islamic theologians. >> different from the old testament? >> yes. you put it in the context of the stories and the narratives, right. the holy bible as we see it is a book written by god, the koran is a book about god. and so it was written from the prophet mohammed's point of view. and in there are two halves, two distinct halves in how he's
writing. the first half he's reaching out and he's peaceful, he's trying to reconcile things. and the second half he's pretty angry. you know and he's, he's saying well, we need to, we can't reconcile, we need to take over. we need to eliminate those who are infidels or who are not believers. >> but let's juxtapose that. there's good reason to believe that much of islam was modeled on judaism and christianity. both in history and just empirically. you look at the bible, you can flip it the same way. in the koran he starts peaceful and gets angry. in the bible he starts angry and gets peaceful. >> in america we're people of many different religions, races and back grounds. there was a time not long ago when the church i was live at were founded in the 19th century when catholics were looked at kind of askance, still are in
some places. certainly i don't know particularly because of today's global media we're at that same level. it's a lot worse. but we were certainly the victim of misunderstanding, people saying that's not really christianity, don't really believe in the same god. i see a lot of that happening now. you're right, the violence is painted just as easily on christians and catholics down through the ages. >> let's end on that. it's not. is that islam is being looked at in a way that we haven't experienced in our lifetimes. within generations, actually. of faith being condemned for its actions. what is your message? >> i would say, i'm always reminded of the words of alexander solzenitsin. if only it was so simple to put all the bad people over there and divide them from us. his last question was, who is
willing to destroy a part of his own heart. i feel like when we begin to say there's them evil people and us good people, i think that's when you move away from what the heart of faith really is about. >> and to be sure, at best, you have a broken halo. to borrow from your show, i couldn't give you all the credit, father. thank you to all three of you for the perspective. we need it now. as we talk about the year here, 2014, certainly filled with just unforgettable news stories. no question. and as you know, cnn, we were there for all of them. flight 370, ebola, ferguson. we're going to reflect on the year that was when our special holiday edition of "new day" continues. but first, what's better than this? let's listen to the young people's chorus of new york city and their rendition of "joy to the world." ♪ joy to the world ♪ the lord is come ♪ let earth receive her king
♪ let every heart ♪ prepare him room ♪ and heaven and nature sing ♪ and heaven and nature sing ♪ and heaven and heaven and nature sing ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ he rules the world ♪ with truth and grace ♪ and makes the nations rule ♪ the glories of his love ♪ and righteousness ♪ and wonders of his love ♪ and wonders and wonders of his love ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because it gives me... zero heartburn! prilosec otc. the number 1 doctor-recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 9 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. . welcome back to a special christmas edition of "new day." from the disappearance of malaysian airlines flight 370 to the protests in ferguson and new york, we look at the biggest news stories defining 2014. let's bring in managing editor of quartz and cnn gloeshl affairs analyst, bobby ghosh. let's talk about the stories that were big globally and how
the rest of the world covered them. starting with the mystery that had us so captivated for weeks on end and that was the missing malaysian airlines flight 370. how did the rest of the world see that? >> that's one story that's human, eternal and universal. the same suspense and mystification we felt about it was felt around the world. people everywhere were amazed that this day and age, which all the technology, with the ability of governments and security institutions to tell where you and i are based on where we're using our cell phone, that an entire airliner with 240 odd people on board could just vanish into the mist and now it's been you know, six, eight months since then and still, not a trace. so that's sort of bermuda triangle mystery is very universal and people, whether they were in far mongolia or in, in south america felt the same astonishingment as well as the deep human tragedy of the
families not knowing what came of their dear ones. >> that was so haunting. shortly after, there was another malaysian airlines tragedy, flight mh-17 was shot down over ukraine. >> this is a much more modern tragedy, much more specific. a plane shot down from the sky. probably an accident, everything indicates that pro russian ukrainian separatists using russian-made arms fired at the plane, thinking it was a ukrainian military aircraft. in that case, there was no, there was not much mystery. but quite, with the tragedy the same, of families losing dear ones, people traveling on vacation, their lives being snuffed out because of a conflict in which they had absolutely no part. >> another place of conflict, iraq and the rise of isis, here in the united states we have devoted a lot of time and coverage to isis. who they are, how this happened. how about globally, the coverage of isis?
>> well closer to the center of the action in places like iraq and in syria, people have known about isis and have been paying much more attention than people like us farther away. but this was a year in which they took the center stage. they introduced themselves if you like to the wider world and in the most bloody fashion possible. they are far and away the worst terrorist group i have ever encountered in all my years of covering terrorism and the middle east. the sheer enjoyment that their fighters seem to take from the horrors that they are perpetrating is new. the ability, their ability to master social media and to get their message out is a new wrinkle that makes them more dangerous. it makes them, they're able to communicate with the world and they're able to use social media and the internet as a recruiting tool in a way that we have not seen before. >> another crisis, this one in health care, the eebl outbreak,
more than 17,000 cases at this point. here obviously we did not have an outbreak. but there were some cases in the u.s. what kind of coverage is ebola getting around the world? >> again in africa, quite a lot of it. because that's the ground zero of this particular pandemic. in other parts of the world, attention is beginning to fade. they're just too many crises, too many tragedies taking place concurrently in the world. ebola, once the threat of it breaking out from africa seemed to recede, attention began outside of africa to dwindle a little bit. because of course they're thinking about the millions of syrian refugees, we're thinking about crises all over the world in africa it remain as huge problem. it's now become, it's called a caregivers disease, because although the fatality rate among ordinary people is 60% or 70%, which is bad enough. the fatality rate among doctors and nurses who get the disease is much more like 95 to nearly
100% so ironically those who are working the hardest to eradicate the disease are the most vulnerable and that's a very powerful story. >> let's hope in 2015 we can get our arms around this internationally and make a lot of progress. >> we can all agree on that. >> bobby ghosh, great to see you, over to chris. coming up next on this special holiday edition of "new day," republicans, they got their presents early this year. they got keys to both the house and the senate. but there were plenty of other pivotal moments in politics in 2014. so let's take a look back. and later, a family having a christmas morning today, thanks to some cops who cared. it's the good stuff and i promise, you don't want to miss it. especially on christmas.
♪ ♪ jingle bells ♪ jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is ♪ to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ jingle bells ♪ jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is ♪ to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ >> you were just listening to the young people's chorus of new york city, they were singing "jingle bells" we have a lot to get to, including some of the biggest political moments of 2014. >> first a check of your headlines at the news desk and look at today's games with this morning's "bleacher report." >> good morning and merry christmas. i'm alison kosik. hundreds of protesters staged a die-in at an ohio mall where john crawford iii was shot dead by police in augs. the 22-year-old crawford was shot as he was holding an air
rifle he picked up in the store shelf. the grand jury decided no the to indict. it comes amid frictions over months of protests in the police-involved deaths of eric garner, michael brown and others. an ebola scare at the center force disease control, the cdc one of its lab workers in atlanta may have been exposed to ebola, after samples used in experiments were sent to the wrong lab. the exposed technician has no symptoms and will be monitored for 21 days. meantime a staffer at the united nations mission in liberia has tested positive for the deadly virus. a statement from the mission says it's the fourth case there two staffers died of ebola three months ago, another recovered. time for this morning's "bleacher report." a lot of basketball on tap. here's brian mcfaden. >> all five christmas games will be televised in 215 kunds, 48 languages. the game with the biggest buzz has to be lebron james visiting
south beach for the first time since he left the heat. lebron won two championships with miami in four years before heading back home to cleveland. how will james be received by the heat faithful? will he be booed? cheered? maybe a little both. the heat will honor king james with a video tribute during the game. lebron has paid in his share of christmas games during his career. he was asked his thoughts in playing in yet another one. >> biggest day for the nba. you know, i decide to come back here i knew i was going to be probably playing against miami. but as far as my family come down or not coming down, we're taking it on the fly. go down, play the game, play the schedule and move on. >> that's a game you definitely not want to miss. cavs and heat start at 5:00 eastern. you can catch the primetime games on our sister station,
tnt. kobe bryant is going to be playing in a record 16th christmas game. his lakers take on the bulls at 8:00 and the warriors clippers at 10:30 eastern. one more sports story this morning. an athlete spreading some holiday cheer. washington nationals pitcher doug fister tweeted out a bar code for people to show to the barista. the account ran dry by the afternoon, but good for fister, showing love to the fans for the holidays. we're going to have more in 30 minutes, your special holiday edition of "new day" continues right now. merry christmas. welcome back, merry christmas, this is our special holiday edition of "new day." we're celebrating the holy days and looking forward to all the things that the new year will bring. so before we can look forward, we have to stop and reflect, right? the year is winding down, 2014, big big year in politics for a lot of reasons. so let's look at what were some
of the biggest headlines, who's going to join us to do that? >> joining us for this trip down memory lane is cnn political analyst and editor in chief of the "daily beast" john avlon and cnn analyst and republican strategist margaret hoover. >> you look so festive among the decorations. >> beautiful, let's talk about your favorite political stories of 2014. i'm going to start, margaret to you. with the gop mid-term sweep. i bet that was your favorite. >> top of the list, number one. republicans actually had a really good year. i'm the kind of republican that likes to see a big tent. i like to see a party that can appeal beyond its base, we had a couple of good wins on the board for that not just the sweep in november, we passed immigration reform. you saw a toning down on in the senate. a toning down on some of the social issues that can be divisive like lgbt freedom. you see a shift in the
republican party and the win caps off this ability republicans now have coming into 2015 and 2016 to set the table for the new year and some really good candidates in 2014 as well. you have the first female combat veteran elected to the senate. for example, you didn't see the trip-ups of previous cycles, because we had better candidates this year. you didn't have this he's egregious foibles of the tongue. let's just not remember them. >> avalon. let's pretend your wife can't hear us for a second. has she been nipping at the eggnog. what's the big tent? >> this is a christmas hopeful wish list. >> the elf on the shelf kind of stuff? >> margaret makes a good point. the republican win was so big. they picked up seats in congressional districts that obama won. so it is a big republican tent by that measure. but let's put it in context. >> feeling generous because it's christmas. >> see how i do that, lowest
turn-out since world war ii. >> a lot of coal out there. >> this was not i think this big gop win can be misinterpreted. but no question in terms of the pick-ups in the senate and house, big year for the republicans and let's hope margaret is right about the bigger tent. >> i saw your eyes bug out during immigration reform. you don't believe 2014 was a success story for immigration reform. >> yes, eight republicans in the senate joined with democrats to pass immigration reform in the senate. that died in the house. because any hope the house had of passing it died when eric cantor got kicked off the stage in june so for republicans to take any credit, they deserve credit for lindsay graham having the courage to back it. but it didn't get done because republicans didn't have the courage to stand up to their base on it. >> i'm curious for both of you, hoovalon is very good.
president obama respecting on the past year. what do you think he's looking at in terms of regrets, margaret? and what do you think, john, he's looking at and saying we made some headway there. >> i think the president had a tough year. the economy in some ways has gotten better. but most people aren't feeling it. the janet yellen, the head of the federal reserve says middle class americans are feeling wage stagnati stagnation. so even though some of the data shows it's better, people aren't feeling better and there was real confusion in his leadership when it comes to some of the true issues we face abroad, isis, the ebola crisis, that happened around the election and that did end up affecting some of the elections, particularly the governorship in maine. we can talk about that later. >> just to answer your question quickly. robert gibbs referred to his first year off the election as the lost year. i think this was a little bit more of that. i mean there isn't a lot that the president can look back on and say we got this and achieved something.
>> republicans can't wait to get this president off the stage. there's the narrative that a last quarter of the presidency is lame duck and we in the media fast-forward to the next president. we deal with the presidency as one quarter of the free world. he feels liberated by not having to go to an election again. the economy, the economy is actually one of the great stories of this year. look, you've had 57 straight months of job growth. you've got the stock market that if this president wasn't labeled a socialist anti-big business guy from the far right would be greeted with open arms because we've got 11,000 point increase in the stock market. margar margaret is right, there's a big gap in the perception. if mitt romney had won the 2012 election, republicans would be dancing in the aisle talking about the romney economic miracle. it's the same data and he deserves credit for it. >> it's really difficult to say the same data that romney would have done absolutely nothing for the economy in terms of economic
policies. the truth is he would have probably implemented some more robust economic policies, tax reform or rolling back regulations that are stifling some of the energy reforms. i think what you've just done is posit something that's totally impossible. >> we can't have you guys fighting too much on christmas. >> we're not. >> have some more eggnog. >> talking about romney, if if's and nuts were cherries and nuts we'd all have a beautiful christmas. >> plenty of answers from political types about who is santa and who is scrooge. who will lead the way in 2015 with a big red nose that is not alcohol-induced. >> john, margaret, thanks, guys, merry christmas. >> merry christmas. much more ahead on this special holiday edition of "new day," christmas day, cnn's christiane amanpour will walk us
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we have a serious hairball issue. we clean it up, turn around, and there it is again. it's scary. little bit in my eye. [ michelle ] underneath the kitchen table, underneath my work desk, we've got enough to knit a sweater. [ doorbell rings ] zach, what is that? the swiffer sweeper. the swiffer dusters. it's some sort of magic cloth that sucks in all the dog hair. it's quick and easy. pretty amazing that it picked it all up. i would totally take on another dog. [ kevin ] really? ♪
responding to tensions around the globe. joining us to talk about this year is cnn chief international correspondent, christiane amanpour. hi, cchristianne. >> we thought things were going to quiet down in iraq. that didn't happen with isis. >> can you sort of divide it into three parts. this year started with isis rising with a vengeance and taking over key towns in iraq, fallujah and other such places, putting up its black flag. but the u.s. was out of iraq. the iraqis weren't up to it, the political situation was totally dysfunctional. isis germinated and germinated until we got to the summer when isis again rose with a vengeance in syria. and beheaded publicly by slitting the throats of american
and western journalists and aid workers. then, that motivated the united states and its allies to come in with an air campaign. for the last several months as the year has ended this has been the mode of operation. in iraq and syria, attack from the air for isis. which has somewhat halted its momentum. it won't end the isis threat and the year ends with most people saying isis and the whole situation will not go away unless assad goes away. unless the syrian civil war is resolved. as long as assad is still there, this horror will continue. >> it has been such a horror this year. and such a troubling story to cover. let's talk about russia and a term that we thought we had retired with the cold war. but it felt as though it was back this year. >> you're absolutely right. who could have thought this. so many years after the fall of the berlin wall, the fall of the soviet union and an attempt to
liberalize and democratize that part of the world. well many of the former east bloc countries are strong democracies, part of the eu, some part of nato. but russia has risen again as trying to set itself up as the big sort of counterweight to what is the only superpower, and that is the united states right now. so when russia started to destabilize, ukraine, annexed crimea, violating international law, and laws and rules that it had signed itself. a treaty to respect ukraine's border. then continued the year with destabilizing eastern ukraine. sending its force, sending heavy materiel to destabilize what should be democratic ukraine. that has brought russia and the united states and the rest of the west to an unprecedented crisis. and to be very frank, nobody quite knows where this is going to end. because let's not forget, the west is a nuclear-armed nato alliance. russia is a nuclear-armed nation. nobody is suggesting this is
going to go to war. but nobody quite knows how president putin is going to be convinced to step back and to stand down. >> another intractable problem has always been israel and gaza. what did we see happen there this year? >> well, the major issue there was an attempt by the united states and a huge amount of work by secretary of state john kerry, at the behest of president obama, to try to resuscitate the basically dead peace process there. they worked very, very hard, but the fact of the matter is, it imploded, in the spring of this year. with no view to somehow being restarted. and on top of that, you still got the dysfunction in gaza, with hamas ruling there. the split between the palestinians since the western and israeli-accepted palestinian authority is in the west bank. and now you have israel in the new year, about to go to new elections, which could,
according to analysts, shift israel ever towards the hard line and towards the right. and away from the peace process and that track. we'll wait to see who is the winner and who's the loser in israel's upcoming elections. >> we were hoping to be able to end the year with a deal with iran in terms of its nuclear weapons or nuclear potential at least. but then at the last minute, that was postponed. >> well alisyn, as you know, iran does not have nuclear weapons. it is the nuclear program, though. that causes a huge amount of trouble for the united states, for israel and for the west. so again, an unprecedented chance and an incredible opportunity to try to resolve one of the most important, yet intractable relations in the world right now. between iran and the west. and a deal could be a game-changer on just about every level. what they've done is had very serious negotiations, that produced an interim agreement,
that was then extended in the summer. and that is now been extended again. so the year ends with this interim accord, carrying on into 2015, with a pledge to come back again, in the summer of 2015 to see if finally they can knot this up. tie up a deal. but most people believe if iran puts the brakes on its nuclear program, puts limits on its nuclear program in return for a lifting of the sanctions against it, that could really be a game-changer in the region and help on many, many other levels. >> christiane amanpour, great to see you. >> alisyn, thank you very much. >> always great to see her, especially on this day. this family's christmas wish is coming true this morning, thanks to some police officers with humungous hearts, none of this would have happened if a little girl hadn't called 911 by
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. welcome back to "new day." lots of good stuff to get to. we want to stay a little focused on one story in particular. >> it's the christmas good stuff? >> it is. it is festive by any definition. a 3-year-old girl in boynton, beach, florida, accidentally dials 911. that's not christmas. she's playing with the phone. but it gets christmas-yer. the girl's sister tells the police officers, the family wasn't going to be able to afford a christmas tree this year. what dot officer do? they follow the letter of the
law and arrest them. no, they weren't going to stand for that. they leave, they come back a few days later with some christmas cheer and obviously the tree you're looking at, along with lights, ornaments, everything the family needed to decorate it the right way. you got to look at the face of the little girl. you see the smile? >> she hugged the tree. >> she hugged the tree, not in an enviro way. this is just about loving christmas. >> that was worth it. >> she'll remember that for the rest of her life. >> and christmas-yer. you're doing a lot of things with adjectives. >> a problem with pronunciation. >> we're getting ready for the next hour of a special holiday edition of "new day." there's a lot of the news that seems negative these days, right? i mean it's just how it is. but actually there is a lot to be thankful for and we're going to bring thaw right now. let's listen again to the young people's chorus of new york city. >> can we sing along? >> please, i can't. ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ giving back, you know you'll get something today that you'll want to take back tomorrow, right? what you need to know about gift returns. and after the gifts are opened and the food is eaten, it's time for a movie. we're talking about the best ones out there, old and new. and holiday on display. eat your heart out, clark w. griswold. we're showing off some of the most amazing holiday displays around. >> your special holiday edition
♪ merry christmas, everyone, that's a beautiful way to start this hour. welcome to a special holiday edition of "new day." merry christmas to all of you, to you a and yours, i'm alisyn camerota alongside chris cuomo and michaela pereira. we're joined by the young people's chorus of new york city, that was their rendition of "joy to the world." they have a new album called "cool side of yule tide" available on itunes and cd baby. there year there have been many headlines that were negative of course, but believe it or not, things are getting better in many, measurable ways. poverty is down, life expectancy is up. so we're going to talk about the news that will give you hope this christmas. >> we also have a few halls are going to be decked out on christmas day. >> people throw down on this. >> you know who throws down, the
white house. technically your house, coming up we ask the white house decorator what it takes to put on this spectacular display. >> i want to know how her anxiety level is. >> it's got to be high. >> first the latest headlines, so let's head over to the news desk. >> good morning to you and merry christmas, pope francis urging tenderness as millions of christians begin markin the holiday. in his christmas message he's calling for an end to the quote brutal persecution being suffered in iraq and syria. he made a specific appeal for the safety of children following last week's massacre at a school in pakistan. thousands also flocked to bethlehem for christmas celebrations at the traditional birth place of jesus. new york cardinal timothy dolan offering reassurance to worshippers at midnight pass at st. patrick's cathedral. following the shooting deaths of two officers, which he called senseless and irrational. he urged political leaders to
invite us to dialogue, to listen instead of shouting. people mourning the officers' deaths have been at odds with protesters who demonstrated, despite calls from the mayor to pause until the funerals. tensions not simmering down overnight in berkeley, missouri, following a police shooting death of a teenager tuesday night. demonstrators blocked a major roadway. demonstrators swarmed the gas station where antonio martin was shot miles from ferguson. several angles of surveillance video have been released of the confrontation between martin and police. it appears to show the teen pointing what looks like a gun at the officer. a weapon was recovered at the scene. the comedy "the interview" set to hit about 300 movie theaters across the u.s. today. president obama who is vacationing in hawaii for the holidays says he's happy sony had a change of heart. >> i'm glad it's being released. merry christmas, everybody. >> sell-outs are being reported
at some theaters that have decided to show the movie. and if you can't see it in theaters, check it out online, it's streaming for a price on several sites, including youtube, google play and the microsoft xbox video game console. this obviously wasn't the plan, but it could prove to be part of the wave of the future for movie releases. police in hong kong taking a hard line, refusing to let pro democracy protesters return to the streets. officials say 12 protesters were arrested during the first sizeable rally since police cleared out the last protest camp ten days ago. police used pepper spray and batons to subdue demonstrators. charges ranged from assaulting a police officer to failure to produce proof of identity. officials say two police officers were injured. the true meaning of the holiday spirit was displayed outside the home of a michigan teenager battling brain cancer. 500 people gathered to pray and sing christmas carols for aslan
merit, the 14-year-old's second battle with cancer. folks in the community know how much she loves to sing and figured this was the perfect way to cheer her up. they raised at least $20,000 for her treatment. those are the headlines, now back to a special holiday edition of "new day." welcome back to a christmas edition of "new day." it has been a year of tough news from the ebola outbreak in west africa to the rise of the terror group isis, to the crisis in ukraine. this christmas there's also a lot of good news. here to walk us through some of the areas in which the world is getting better is cnn global analyst and "time" assistant editor, rana foroohar. let's start with the economy we talk a lot about the economy. we've talked most recently about the economic crisis we've come through. but what we don't talk about is that poverty is actually on the decline. >> absolutely. it has been for several decades now. if you look at the last 30 or 40
years, you've seen a wave of prosperity around the whole world that's really unprecedented in global history. and that's because there have been a number of new countries coming into the global market system. you saw the fall of the berlin wall. the demise of communism. a lot of countries are part of the capitalist system now. the rising tide has lifted all boats in that sense. >> the numbers reflect what you're saying, in 1981, 52% of the world's population was living at $1.21 compared to 21% recently. that's a very precipitous decline. >> overall, if you look at the last several decades, you have fewer people living in poverty globally than ever before. >> we've also talked a lot this year about the rise of isis. it's hard to ignore how barbaric and brutal they are but globally, war is also on the decline. >> yeah, and the two things go hand in hand. because as you've had growing
prosperity, you have less global conflict so since the 1940s we haven't seen a major global war, a world war. we haven't even seen anything beyond a cold war between two superpowers, that means that the number of deaths and the amount of destruction from war is on the decline. you have civil wars and small regional conflicts, but they're not as destructive as the big conflicts. >> is that why peace is breaking out, purely because of economics, or are there other things at work? >> i think there are stronger institutions, more countries becoming democratic. a whole host of emerging market countries that are part of the global democratic capitalist system. you have a number of stronger economies and democracies in europe. so it's just sort of the rising tide lifting all boats phenomenon here. >> so poverty is down, war is down. how much of a role does all of the burst of technology we've experienced in the past few years play into that? >> i think it plays a huge role. for starters it makes it easier
for people to see elsewhere what's happening in other countries. that causes revolutions, saw it in the arab spring. and there is a certain amount of conflict during those times of tumult. but i think technology as a change agent will continue to grow. technology is growing. there's something called moore's law, which means the amount of information can you keep on a microchip. in all the devices we have, computers, smartphones, is doubling every two years. the power of what we hold in our hands is doubling every two years. that has a tremendous economic growth effect. >> you're blowing my mind. i can't have any more information here. give us the status report on education. which obviously is another metric in terms of how well countries are doing. >> more people are going to school globally than ever before. particularly women. we've seen an incredible increase in the number of women being educated at all levels, there is important, because if we want to use that technology to advance the world, to increase economic growth, you're
going to need a better-educated labor force. you're going to need kids coming out of school that really understand how to use these technologies, and at a global level, that's happening. >> rana foroohar, it's great to hear the good news. sometimes we need to take a breath and realize how much progress we have made globally. >> we're living in a lucky time. >> merry christmas, good to see you. over to chris. are you a white lights person, you get a little crazy, put things on the lawn? how about the white house? that is the highest level of the game. we're going to talk with the white house decorator about decking those presidential halls for christmas. what a tall task that must be. but first, let's listen to the young people's chorus of new york city again. ♪ ♪
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welcome back to "new day." merry christmas, everyone. every year the white house transformed into quite a christmas wonderland with its historical rooms adorned with all sorts of lights and ornaments, a team goes in to put putt all of those decorations up in just a few days. joining me now is one of those very elves, this year's white house design partner colleen christian burke, also the author of "christmas with the first ladies." what a delight to have you back with us today. >> merry christmas. >> you seem so relaxed, i should be worried. >> the hard work is over. >> talk to me about it. i think so many of us want to have the perfect thing with our family and a perfect christmas and have all the decorations just so. a little different when it's a, not your family and oh by the way, the first family. >> a little bit of pressure and just a really incredible space,
the white house. so we go into it with the best of intentions. all the best planning and then it's almost like your own home. there's boxes everywhere. we're falling behind schedule. something's not quite right. and you're just -- >> that's when you start to sweat. >> and you're thinking on your feet and you're really wanting to do a first job for the first lady and the first family. i say we throw the term christmas miracle around a lot. getting the house done in three days. >> it's literally in three days? >> we're at the warehouse preparing for two days and the white house for three days. >> because of course the family lives there. >> the family lives had there. so we are in about 8:00 a.m. and we're out about 3:30. >> a.m. >> yeah, it's their home. >> we're in at 8:00 a.m. and out at 4::00 p.m. >> how many people do you have? >> we have about 100 people this year. and the volunteers and the deck raters are mixed from all over.
mrs. obama loves to make sure our military personnel are represented. >> how lovely. >> the teachers, people that do a lot of community service work. they're all kind of brought in and we all work together. it's the first lady's vision. i say she's the commander-in-chief of christmas and we are her foot soldiers. >> let's talk about that the vision, she presents it to you when? how much of a heads up do you get on that? >> we start thinking about christmas back in march. we got some notes on her initial thoughts and feelings about the theme. and this year, it's a children's winter wonderland. and i think that comes from you know, really wanting to celebrate for children. the child in all of us. but also those first daughters are getting a little bit older. >> she knows they're not going to be kidlets much longer. >> one more children's winter wonderland in? >> it's so fabulous. you can work and work as long as the time is allotted and once
the clock stops and we're invited back for a party, we're not allowed to touch anything. >> does anybody get up there and push the star back into place? >> i bet the first lady would. >> did you enjoy collaborating with her? >> she's amazing. this year, the vision was really about kids and we talked about bringing stories to life. so we have in the east room these amazing large books with paper pop-outs on the mantles. and we put actual books on the tree. with stories coming out of them. and just, we have trains and we have carousel deer and it all came from the first lady's heart. which i think is amazing. >> let's talk about the tradition of having the first lady so involved. you've done this amazing book, it's such an interesting idea, the notion of the first lady. and being the commander-in-chief for christmas. and it dates back probably to jackie o? >> yeah, it starts with jackie kennedy, who said if we're going to have 100,000 people over for
the holidays, let's look good. before that, it was a little haphazard, every year now it's become more and more elaborate. i'm sure you have your christmas theme. what is it this year? >> the theme is the smallest tree my new york apartment could find. it's about six inches tall. but i have one. i have lights on it. do you find the white house is such a grand place, you don't need to embellish it too much. i imagine the key is to make it feel a bit more like home. >> it would be impossible to make the white house look bad. but -- >> some of us could. if they let us in. i'm kidding. >> you'd have a hard time, trust me. so it's what's important to the first lady and how they want to connect to the american public. for example when chelsea was dancing in "the nutcracker," that was the theme. and barbara bush also very much about literacy. and mrs. obama always, what's, what's the reason for the season? she had simple blessings, we
talk about gratitude. and we're always trying to remember our u.s. military and write them notes and just really about how we can better ourselves going forward in the new year. >> i know from past years we've seen the first dogs, if you will, they've been part of the christmas decorations, should we anticipate that this year? >> you should, they're front and center. >> with little christmas hats? little elf hats? >> they don't have elf hats on. in every single room there's a hidden ornament that children are encouraged to try to find that are sonny and beau related. and the downstairs, the oversized sonny and beau, a mile of ribbon to make each of those figurines. >> that's the white house florist department did that. every year they upped the ante, same with the gingerbread house.
>> every year you'll start working again you think in march? >> probably in march. and i bet the first lady is thinking about it now. no sooner does one get completed then the next one is on the horizon. >> let me point out, if you need a good idea, this book is fantastic, you might be able to get some ideas from some of our first ladies. thank you so much for coming here and walking us through the white house christmas. merry christmas. >> merry christmas. great to see those pictures. well if you're about to watch the christmas classic "it's a wonderful life" for the umpteenth time. there's nothing wrong with that. in case you want other options, we'll give you a list of the best holiday movies to cozy up with today. that's coming up on the special christmas edition of "new day."
edition of "new day," merry christmas. >> merry christmas, my friends here and at home. were you just listening to the young people's chorus of new york city singing "angels we have heard on high." >> coming up we're going to take a look at the best movies to see this holiday season. and tell you what you need to know about returning the holiday gifts, you know, that just aren't your style. >> no regifting here. >> we'll have some of the brightest light displays from around the world to show you. maybe some of those folks are in your neighborhood. but first, we want to get to the latest headlines at the news desk. >> good morning to you. merry christmas as well, i'm alison kosik. an ebola scare at the centers for disease control, the cdc says one of its lab workers in atlanta may have been exposed to ebola after a virus samples used in experiments were improperly sent to the wrong lab. the exposed technician has no symptoms and will be monitored for 21 days. the cdc says there's no chance for public exposure.
a staffer at the united nations mission in liberia has tested positive for the deadly virus. a statement from the mission says it's the fourth case there. two staffers died of ebola three months ago, another recovered. an emotional plea this morning from the father of a jordanian pilot captured by isis. youssef al kassaba telling a news site, i hope god will put mercy in their hearts and they will release my son. there's no indication why the plane did go down. no word yet on whether jordan will try to negotiate for the release of the pilot. this morning, former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital, but aides say the father of george w. bush had a good day on wednesday, the elder bush was taken to houston methodist tuesday night, complaining of shortness of breath. in 20-12, the 90-year-old bush
was hospitalized for bronchitis for two months. but his staff tells cnn this is not two years ago. gene becker says it's a hiccup, he should come home in a few days. talk about a christmas miracle, this is 13-year-old boston terrier sammy from sacramento, california. the little guy somehow woonderred on to a neighbor's balcony. when he lost his bearings, he plunged 15 stories. he landed in the hot it up and was able to pull himself out despite a cracked pelvis and some broken ribs, but he's going to be just fine. >> i've seen him stand up and walk. it's just -- it's amazing. >> amazing, i would say. merry christmas, special holiday edition of "new day" continues now. welcome back to our very special holiday edition of "new day." christmas day, you've opened up all the gifts, eaten the fruitcake, i've never really liked fruitcake and you've had the eggnog.
what is next? time to see a movie. this year there are many strong movies to help you enjoy the holidays. only one person to ask, my girl, "entertainment tonight" host and cnn contributor, nischelle turner is here to talk about the ones to get on your list, the ones with the best buzz and we talk our own favorites. how are you? >> i'm good. i love that you gave me this long title it makes me feel very important. >> this is very important time of year, it's a big holiday season for movies. we know there's a lot of studios saving up their best ones to launch. what should we see, nischelle? >> there's a lot to see. first of all, you're right you mentioned this before. this i think is as far as i can remember is the strongest opening day for movies on christmas. there's really great movies that are opening today. a lot of pictures, a lot of movies that could be considered in the best picture race coming up for the oscars. first of all. let me run through a couple of
them. the first movie that's opening up today "unbroken" this movie number one has been highly touted for about a year. last year in our christmas show -- chris cuomo was talking about -- yes, he was so excited to see this movie. he knew it was going to be made. he was wondering how it would end up. it's a movie, i'm not sure if you want to go see it before you open your gifts because it's a tough movie to watch. it's a very good movie. but you come out of it and either you're going to be very thankful for what you have thon christmas or you're going to say, i need a spiked eggnog because it's very tough to watch. >> i've been hearing a lot of buzz about "selma" too. >> that movie is opening in limited release today. so if you're in one of the big cities around the country you'll probably get to see it. if not, you'll have to wait until january. but this i believe one of the most important films that is made this year. of course it's about the civil rights movement. it's about the voting rights march from selma, with dr.
martin luther king jr. and it has an all-star cast once again. anna duvernay did this film after trying to get it made for eight years. the actor who plays martin luther king jr. does a masterful job on this. the director wasn't granted the right to use any of dr. king's speeches, but when you see the film put together. it's beautiful and so relevant with everything going on in the country with the protests and the calls for change, you see this movie and it makes you think wow, is this 2015 or 1965. >> it sounds like the movie is right on time. i want to know about some ones for the family. what are good films we can load up the minivan and head out with kids. >> if you love meryl streep like i do, then run, not walk to go see "into the woods."
usually i'm not a fan of the musical. because i think oh god, they sometimes feel disjointed and the singing comes out of nowhere. >> why can't they just talk? >> exactly. but this musical is one of the best that has been made in my opinion in a very long time. rob marshall does a wonderful job. meryl streep is so great, she's the witch in into the woods it has anna kendrick, emily blunt. newcomer one of the funniest people i've ever met. tracy ullman steals every scene she's in, and johnny depp as the big bad wolf? >> 'nuf said. you got my ticket already bought. i hate doing this, are there any movies we should say, i'll skip it in theaters and maybe watch it on video. >> i hate doing this. because i love every single person in this movie. but i have to tell you the movie "annie" is getting mixed reviews. i would say this, families, go
see "annie." i'm told that quvenzhane wallace is the best thing about this film. she is adorable beyond belief as annie. but some parts of this film may not work. and i have to tell you, when you have the original that is so iconic and so fantastic, it's tough to do a sequel or reboot or an updated version, a lot of people feel like you never live up to it. so this movie may have a couple problems, i would still say take the family to see "annie" and see "big hero 6." >> it's good? >> great film, very good animated film. i would take the family to see this kind of revisit it. >> last but not least, i want to know what you're going to be snuggling up with with your spiked eggnog and watching in your pajamas with footies. what are some of your favorite holiday movies? >> you know me. i'm the biggest kid of them all. >> you're a sap. >> i can skip all of that
movie-movie stuff and give me the claymation. the animated film. i'm a big fan of "santa claus is coming to town." i could watch it 8,000 times. i also love charlie brown's christmas, if i'm just watching a christmas movie i'm a big fan of "the family stone." it's hilarious and it has a lot of heart. what about you? >> go ahead, guess it. >> "love actually." >> gets me every time. the scene where the kids are dancing in the doorway when the prime minister opens the door, it's so good. don't watch it with your kids, it's got some adult themes. >>ky tell you a good comedy? >> sure. >> go see "top five" go see "top five" it's one of the funniest movies i've seen this year, chris rock is fantastic.
he wrote it, he directed it, he stars in it and it's a great movie, funny from start to finish. cedric the sbaper, adam sandler, jerry seinfeld. rosario dawson, it's a great film. >> everybody. >> merry christmas, and thank you for the list. >> we all get them -- gifts that don't fit, don't look right, just plain terrible. we're going to tell you what you need to know about returning those gifts that just won't do. but first, let's listen to the young people's chorus of new york city singing an original song, singing "what is christmas made of" co-written by francisco nunez and jim papulis ♪ ♪ ♪
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for some, christmas day means holiday shopping is over and done. but for a lot of us it is just beginning and if you spent big on christmas gifts, probably too much, it is now time to redeem yourself. prices on a few of your favorite things are as low as they can go. so you can get a bargain. let's bring in christine romans to tell us where to find the steepest discounts starting tomorrow. >> merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas to you. get your shopping done. whenever we talk about thanksgiving people run out for the bargains, but the real bargains come after christmas. you're going to see clothing very big, big discounts on clothing. >> wait, wait, you want us to shop. normally she's telling us, save your pennies. >> this is the cheap time to shop. >> let me be clear. don't buy things you can't pay
for by the end of january. assuming can you pay for it by the end of january. very big deals on clothing. you need to find coupon codes go, to retail me not. another website called deals plus, deal news, where there are different kinds of coupon codes and different searches can you do. 25-75% off. my advice is closer to 75% on the coupon codes is what you want to look for. a lot of things to look for, in february the new furniture lines come out. in january, if you wait a few more days, in january you're going to start to see big discounts on beds, couches, end tables. if you're looking for furniture, it's a really good time to look for that. so new year's you're going to start seeing more on that a lot of people think electronics is a good time to buy, around black friday. >> or digital monday. >> cybermonday, you're going to see some steep deals on
electronics, digital cameras, high-def tvs, lots of other devices, once the 2015 model days beau, stores are itching to get rid of older stocks. and big tvs come out around the super bowl. you have a few weeks to see some good stuff. >> here's a question not because i'm that girl but i might be. let's say i got a gift i didn't care for and i wanted to return it. do you have any advice -- >> it better not be that five-foot picture of me i gave you. >> keep the receipt and be aware that sometimes around this time of year the return policy may be as short as seven days so really be careful on that. bring your i.d., because they might tell you no, you can't return it without the i.d. know the return policy. seven days to 14 days, by 30 days no one's going to take it back and there's something called restocking fees. >> it's an italian word for fake.
>> yes the restocking fees are very careful. if he gives you a big toaster oven, don't open the box if you want to return it, because you want to make sure it's all sealed up. >> if he gives you a toaster oven for christmas, there's a whole other conversation you need to have. >> gift cards. >> i held a lot of gift cards in my top drawer that i don't use or shop at that store. you can turn it into money. >> what? >> there are all kinds of websites that will buy these, trade these for a different brand. >> is this black market, secondary, illegal. >> card hub is one of them. there's a whole bunch of them. card cash.com. gift card granny.com. card hub. i guess you can go to the coinstar exchange kiosks and they will exchange a gift card for money. >> this is a game-changer. >> they're going to take a little service charge. but if you're not going to shop at wherever he's going to give you a gift card to, then there you go. >> where are we with the culture of giving gift cards, are they okay now? >> it used to be like you didn't
think about me enough. >> i personally am not a fan because i have a drawerful of gift cards. but i do understand the ease, especially if your family is far away. >> you're good with the gift card. >> not that i'm hinting. >> in case you need it. >> is it fugaze? >> i didn't make up the word. it's a real word. >> it's not a word. >> it a real world. >> it's a cuomo-ism. >> you know what i deal with here. if you can't pay for it by the end of january, give your family the christmas gift of financial security and don't buy it. >> what about when they say no payments for a year. no, it's not free. there's no such thing as free. >> free is fugazey. >> that is the motto. think, i realize you're going to walk out of here with. >> clothing, cameras, tvs, furniture. >> merry christmas, christine romans. well, christmas lights,
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some say buy gold. others say buy soybeans. i say, buy comcast business internet. unlike internet providers that slow down when traffic picks up, you get speed you can rely on. it's a safe bet. like a gold-plated soybean. reliably fast internet starts at $69.95 a month. comcast business. built for business. that is a new level. now we're more in my vein. >> could you do that? >> no. but i grew up in a place --
>> that's what your living room looked like? >> that's what it looks like right now. excessive or not, festive decorations around the globe. looking to break records and the fuse boxes this year with christmas light shows that really just going to wow you. we have our top five that we believe outshine the rest. all right. first, let me take you down under to canberra, australia, where this is a lawyer named david richards, he and his family broke for the second year in a row, they broke the guinness world record for the most lights on a residential property. just how many bulbs are blanketing the house? take a guess, you're wrong. a little over half a million lights. 502,165 bulbs, this year, almost 1.2 million. >> on one house? >> let's quantify it, 71 miles of lights. the electric bill? $2500 for the month of december.
>> that's all? >> god only knows. they're doing it for a wonderful cause. they're doing it to raise must be for a local charity which supports families with sudden infant deaths. we have a real technological festivity, this one is tough to beat. this is not a 3-d light display but 4-d. i don't know what that means. fourth dimension. the city of bath in england, 13 miles west in london, 4-d bricks on the pillars, the buildings, wrapped like a present and this whole 21st century christmas show was created about i howie, a graphic artist from the uk who specializes in video mapping. he took measurements of the building, and xwoind the graphic and software for the graphics
and image for the space. i don't know what i just said. howie is no joke. we may have to call him howard because he's so righteous. how with america? garry, indiana, a light show as boo-tiful as this. it's the top of 100 port-a-potties. >> stop it. >> 1200 l.e.d. light consequences arranged by an acapella group. servicessan station.com brings us in the name of sanitation awareness. if i've talked to you about it once i've talked to you about it 100 times. portable restrooms save over 100 million gallons of water a day. how about southwest? number one animated film of all-time you know it "frozen."
they ♪ let it go >> parents hate it. >> dancing around to. ♪ let it go john has been stringing lights his whole life and says it takes about three full weekends to finish this bad boy. if you watch closely there's a single cactus dancing along, john making sure there's a hint of texts, tejas means friendly, by the way, holiday spirit. best of the landscaper bob mangan's house in cleveland. that's a house in there somewhere. >> how would you find the front door? >> i like american. landscaper by day, griswold by night, man who truly loves christmas. this year 45,000 lights blanketing his home and yard. task he started when? october. >> wow. >> now that's the look. an entire storage unit dedicated
to christmas supplies. reminds me of the lady in the hoo movie with the big gun. look on top of the toilet there. >> a santa toilet. >> even the seat. bob has a total of 29 christmas trees in his house. >> how many stockings? >> why the over-the-top holiday decor decorum, for his grandkids. he says i like to see people happy when they walk through. giving is getting. merry christmas to you, bob, and all you have crazy people. thank you very much. give it up. >> there's a showtune trapped in here. >> how did i do with the "frozen" song. i hit a note i didn't think i would, because my throat hurt. many sides of me. >> christmas is a day centered around religion. look at the role faith played in 2014. after the song let the professionals do it, the young
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as christians around the world celebrate this holy day, we're going to take a look at the role religion and faith played in the news in 2014. >> and this say day to separate the naughty from the nice. we're talking about which politicians deserve gifts this morning and who should get a lump of coal. plus on this day the family celebrates together, anderson cooper gets to know his family better, a journey to his own personal roots he wants to share with you. >> your special holiday edition of "new day" continues right
now. ♪ dashing through the snow in a one horse-open sleigh ♪ ♪ over the fields we go laughing all the way ♪ ♪ bells on bob tails ring ♪ oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ good morning, merry christmas, welcome to a special holiday edition of "new day." it's thursday, december 25th. you know what that means, christmas morning and here you are with us, great, 8:00 in the morning in the east. i'm chris cuomo, alisyn camerota, one gift, michaela pereira, another gift for me you tolerate. we're underby the young people's chorus of new york city and amazing rendition of "jingle bells." they have a new album "cool side of yuletide." >> we have so much to talk about this morning, like you heard moments ago we'll look at religion in 2014. >> guess who is stopping by, anderson cooper, he'll give us a special look at his roots.
>> the news always matters so let's get you a check of your headlines at the newsdesk. >> good morning to you, i'm alison kosik. pope francis delivering his christmas message at the vatican this morning. he put up focus on conflicts around the world and the plight of innocent lives in the mideast and africa. john allen is live on the ground in rome. >> reporter: hi, alison. this was a sobering christmas message from pope francis for christmas. he sort of did a survey of global conflict situations beginning with iraq and syria, where he talked about people there suffering a broughtal persecution, and called on the internet community to mobilize to make sure refugees can make it through a harsh winter. the pontiff became visibly emotional talking about the suffering of children around the world. so many are in situations where they are abused and exploited in particular mentioned both victims of abortion and also
children caught up in conflict situations. as i say, it was in some ways a downbeat, worried pontiff but all of this was also a call to action to treat the situations as something's done about them, alison. >> john allen live in rome. tensions not simmering down overnight in berkeley, missouri, following the police shooting death of a teenager tuesday night. demonstrators blocked a major roadway, several people were arrested. demonstrators swarmed the gas station where antonio martin was shot just miles from ferguson. meantime, several angles of surveillance video appears to show the teen pointing what looks like a gun at the officer. the comedy "the interview" set to hit about 300 movie theaters across the u.s. today. president obama, who is vacationing in hawaii for the holidays is happy sony had a change of heart. >> i'm glad it's being released. merry christmas, everybody. >> and sellouts are being reported at some theaters that
have decided to show the movie. the film is also now streaming if you can't see it in the theaters, you can see it for a price on several sites including youtube and google play. it could prove to be part of the wave of the future of movie releases. here's something you never thought you'd see before. president obama donning a tiara. the commander in chief couldn't say no to a group of girl scouts at the white house science fair in may, even though he opted against wearing a navy football helmet the previous year. at the time he said the president doesn't wear things on his head, calling it politics 101, but apparently these cute faces were able to convince him otherwise. oh. those are your headlines. back to a special holiday edition of "new day." merry christmas. >> we want to begin this morning by talking about the role of faith and some of the biggest headlines of the year. we have our own group of wise people with us. are you ready? father david dwyer, host of "the busted halo" on sirius xm,
reverend michael fauker in. it's great to have you with us. you want a christmas gift from me? i know you're surprised. let's talk about anything that you three want that you believe doesn't, that doesn't get enough attention especially on christmas, okay? i'll start with you reverend. what do you want to talk about? >> sometimes the harder the christmas message gets lost. >> the reason for the season. >> amidst the commercialism and the whole dialogue on the war on christmas. at the heart it's about the eternal invisible god becoming a human being, identifying with the poorest and the most marginalized, the most invisible. i feel like in the war on christmas, what we focus on are the externals of things. >> what is the war on christmas, reverend, help me. >> the war on christmas is where everything is materialized -- >> about stuff? >> materials and stuff and the
drama around christmas rather than as she was saying the essential core message of christmas, christ at the center, christ in the manger. that's the centerpiece and the purpose for him coming and so forth is essential. you really can't extract it from christmas, but the war on christmas continually tries to do that. >> this war notion, i'm still going to fight it, no pun intended, father. what is wrong with buying gifts, the exchanging of gifts, if it's an extension of generosity, isn't that extension of the spirit you're trying to inculcate whether or not you believe the story? >> pope francis said we need to be reminded that all is gift. all is grace. grace is as we define it is just completely undeserved by us but god gives it to us anyway. if the gifts we give one another, a package, love, forgiveness, are an extension of that gift, then great no, war there.
>> what have you got? take over. >> okay, so several years ago during a difficult time i wasn't able to buy my children anything, they were younger, wasn't able to buy them anything and we were struggling and i remember what that felt like and it just, it was a broken heart. my kids to this day will say that was the best christmas they ever had. however, i want to talk about something, jobs. i heard a statistic that is amazing, that if every business in america would hire just one person, we would eliminate unemployment, eliminate unemployment from america. we could do that. that's an amazing thing, and i'll be championing that cause. we did a job fair at our church a while back, just a few months ago, and you know, we're inviting people to come that needed to work and it's such an important value, because it values the dignity of a person, and gives them value and clarity
and meaning and especially this time of year, that would be a great gift to give someone. >> it would and now is good proof of why you'll go up and i'll go down. here is the pushback on that reverend. the reverend is talking about something that businesses would identify as charity, comes from a religious word caritas, latin means to care for others. another "c" word that businesses hold more dear which is capitalism. often that's a big conflict between faith and reality, some would say. i can't hire one more, i have to make money. i can't give things away. what do you say to people who say i need to make more. i can't give what you're asking me to give. >> right. i think you have to look at what each individual person is going through. i think there is a reality. people need to make money. they need to take care of their families. >> does that mean i'm got religious if i'm a business and very profit-oriented? >> not at all. especially what i love people who have that for-profit
mind-set and keep the social good in mind as well. >> do well and do good. >> right. what you just said is so profit oriented. that's really the key. pope francis took flack for what some perceived as dogging capitalism but it's the motivation, what gets us up in the morning. let's be profitable. >> and how much is enough? >> now we're talking. how much is enough? the eternal quest for more. >> and usually if you bring on the right person, the right people, hard-working people, they actually increase your productivity, they increase your bottom line. it's better for business. >> there is never enough if you define yourself by what you have. there will never be enough and we all know that and it is not a religious belief or construct. it's reality. here's something, we're going to talk about things that don't get talked about enough. why do i need to believe to be a good person? let's say i reject what all of you believe in dogmatically. i do not accept the story, i do
not accept the history, i do not accept any of it but i go out of my way to do the right thing for other people, even personally sacrifice the making of the holy act by what i do. am i less than you father? >> you are not less than me, nor are you not a good person. i don't think the religion says people are not good people. we talk about salvation and we believe salvation is from christ our lord who was born today who died on the cross. we're talking about our eternal souls. >> do i get in if i've done the right thing with my life? i don't know what happens when i day. >> you can't earn it. it's a gift. you have to receive the gift. the gift is there, it has to be received by faith. and faith alone. that's the only thing and that's the cool thing about christianity. that's the cool thing about christ is he has no respect to a person, whosoever will has to believe. you have to believe and receive, and once you believe and receive
the supernatural power of god overtakes you and allows to you take the steps to live the good, godly holy life god's called us to live. >> wrap it up for us. >> one thing about pope francis that i really love he focuses on the relationship and it's interesting to look at the fact he hasn't changed any church doctrine but his posture, his tone has changed because he sees theer. at the center. >> rocking a church that has gotten caught up in its rules instead of its righteousness. the collar got him. >> what he's doing to emphasize your point and answer your question, he's not doing that because he has to do that in order to get into heche. he's doing that because it comes naturally to him. >> because people with collars like you, father, need to hear it to the head of your church. >> yes. >> during the time of martin luther we wouldn't have had the protestant reformation, there would be no need for it. this pope is powerful. he is a man of god. he's gone back to the scripture.
he is living out what i believe god has called us all as christians to live. >> amen. >> i'm looking forward very much to interviewing him when he comes to the united states, talk about christmas gifts that would come. thank you so much for being here and helping us understand the day a little bit better. i believe now. you've done it. alisyn, over to you. >> it's a christmas miracle. >> it is indeed. >> it really is. thanks so much, guys. it was a big year for politics with the gop taking control of the senate in the midterm elections and while some people really stood out for all the right reasons, there were plenty of naughty folks in politics. we have a political naughty and nice list for you. but first, let's listen to the young people's chorus of new york city on this special christmas edition of "new day." ♪ joy to the world, the lord is come ♪ ♪ let earth receive her king
welcome back to a special christmas edition of "new day." 2014 had its shire of nasty politics with some bright spots. so let's talk about who has been naughty and who ha's been nice capitol hill. we bring in john avalon as well as cnn political commentator and republican consultant margaret hoover. they've brought their naughty and nice lists. >> yes with he did. here it is. >> we're ready to go. >> let's start with naughty, shall we? >> nalways easier to start with naughty. >> john? >> i'm going to the crekremlin this one. you don't get much naughtier than vladimir putin this year. slow roll annexation of crimeia, complicit in the shooting down of an air plane, reinstating the cold war and comparing the west to hitler. this is a seriously bad dude in
a serious position of power and western liberal democracy which seems up challenged in the last decades is getting a serious challenge from him and a bunch of other bad actors who don't like democracy so much. he's on the big old naughty list. >> leads the way. >> did you have anybody else who was naughty? >> sure. >> you got to break it up. ping-pong. you always say why aren't the republicans sort of disciplining other republicans, calling out other republicans. i'm going to put ted cruz on the naughty list for this year. >> ooh, that's going to come with ramifications and repercussions. >> i'm ready for that. here's what ted cruz is doing, gearing up to run for president and he's got a strategy to run for president which is a divide and conquer strategy. he decided there are some people in the republican party decided we have enough white males out there that just didn't vote in 2012 and didn't vote in 2008 but if we can get them to the polls in 2016 we have enough people to vote so forget the demographic
challenge, the broadening the base, having a party that will speak to all of america, go straight for the core base of the republican party and i think that's trouble for the party. that's not the kind of republican party i want to see or a lot of americans want to see. i put him on my naughty list. i think he has to change tactics. >> rebuttal, who you got? top ted cruz. >> i'll take on a democrat, governor jay nixon of missouri. >> strong choice. >> total lack of leadership at the height of ferguson. the governor was m.i.a. he vacillated. he didn't go to ferguson until three days after the initial round of riots, preemptively called in the national guard and held them back while neighborhoods burned and didn't communicate effectively with the mayor of ferguson. this is exactly what you don't do if you're an executive in charge in a time of crosses, governor dixon of missouri. >> you have a nonpolitician who was naughty.
casey hickox the ebola nurse. you remember her? she ended up in some ways proven right but she caused a lot of trouble doing it. she said we were picking a fight with the wrong redhead. she wreaked havoc trying to make her point. she did fly into newark with a temperature and chris christie was trying to implement a set of precautionary measures in order to protect -- >> precautionary or reactionary? >> -- come from treating ebola and you have a temperature landing in newark? totally reasonable to put you in a quarantine or voluntary as it turned out, she went back to maine, caused a lot of trouble in maine and ended up impacting the governor's race there, the governor he will page won his re-election mostly because of that issue in the final days in the polling. >> let's not let the negative overwhelm us. let's talk positive. who is the head of the nice list, john? >> we're building i think to the nicest story.
>> so we're going quick on this one. >> rand paul is on the top of my nice list. >> really? >> here's why. republicans since 1976 haven't done any better than getting 12% of the african-american vote. people running for president usually don't pay a whole lot of attention if you're republican to the african-american vote. rand paul a staunch libertarian made a concerted effort to try to create a new coalition, backing bipartisan bills on mandatory minimums for drug sentencing, prison reform, giving felons the right to vote, these are courageous stands he has short term political benefit for backing but that's why you get on the nice list, you think better and try to create new coalitions in politics. >> i agree with him on rand paul. this comes out of the if ergson story, a woman named natalie dubose, ran nationally's cakes and more. we got great cookies but she suffered damage in the riots. the windows of her shop and bakery were damaged but there are two individuals who one is
david swingle and katherine frobee and they set up a go fund me account for her to rebuild her store and in three days over 8,000 donors raised her $260,000. she was asking people to help the other shops on west flooris and east floorison because they needed the help, too. it's a feel good story the way individuals can contribute in the face of what was a terrible tragedy. >> good stuff. >> main street reminding us what's important. >> beautiful. well done, too. >> thanks so much. >> happy christmas! ? >> you too. i love hoovans. i could come up with three lines. thank you very much, guys. the special holiday edition of "new day" this christmas will continue, we'll look at the kind of surprises you can find when you trace anderson cooper will join us with a look at his journey back in time.
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♪ ♪ i heard the bells on christmas day ♪ ♪ that all familiar carols play ♪ good morning, a little coffee, a little eggnog in there, a little leftover roast beast, that's from "the grinch that stole christmas." welcome back to a special holiday edition of "new day." merry christmas to you. you were listening to the young people's chorus of new york city, this time they were singing "i heard the bells on christmas day." >> in a few minutes anderson cooper will join us to share a personal journey, go up his family tree, climb around on it, go into the past and tell us all about it. >> that's great. first the headlines, let's head over to the news desk. good morning to you, merry christmas, everybody. i'm alison kosik. the cdc says one of its lab workers in atlanta may have been exposed to ebola after samples were sent to the wrong lab. the exposed technician has no symptoms and will be monitored
for 21 days. the incident is under review. meantime a staffer at the united nations mission in liberia has tested positive for ebola. two staffers died of the virus three months ago. the comedy "the interview" is debuting in about 300 theaters nationwide today after a last-minute change of heart by sony despite threats from hackers allegedly from north korea. it stars james franco and seth rogen, they appeared at a late night debut to thank the crowd. >> we want to say thank you. if it wasn't for theaters like this and people like you guys this would literally not be happening right now. [ cheers and applause ] thank you so much. we really appreciate it. >> hope you like the movie. >> hope you like the movie. >> sellouts are being reported at some theaters that have decided to show the movie, which can also be streamed for a price on sites including youtube. a bizarre scene in hong kong, a security van spilled around $4 million onto a busy road wednesday.
the money just kind of fluttered across an eight-lane street, after plastic crates of money fell from the back of the van. about half the money remains missing after people stopped their cars to collect the cash. people are asking, police are asking anyone who picked up the money to return it. no word on whether those people will listen or abide by the finders keepers rule, of course. a heartwarming holiday story out of north carolina, a high school student took it upon himself to help a bully classmate with worn down shoes. he took to social media to find out how he could buy jared newby a pair of shoes without making him feel embarrassed. he got ideas and wound up buying him a pair of air jordans. the two posted a picture together on social media and the story went viral. talk about a good heart. those are your news headlines. back to a special holiday edition of "new day." merry christmas.
>> i intriguing journey into anderson cooper's roots. he'll share his personal experience when we come back with our christmas edition of "new day." first, the music. let's listen to the young people's choir of new york sing "i wish." ♪ snowflakes, silent night, caring friends by the light ♪ ♪ girls and boys dreaming of to toys, a wintry wonderland ♪ ♪ but what is in my wish for most ♪ ♪ i wish the signs could shine for all and light the sour in you ♪ ♪ and share a day of open joy, it is one wish come true ♪
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there we go. welcome back to a special holiday edition of "new day." this year several of our anchors got the rare opportunity to retrace their roots. they got to travel to their homelands and find out some very interesting things about their backgrounds and boy, were they in for some surprises. we're joined now someone with an emotional story, he's the anchor of "ac360" anderson cooper.
>> i went to my home city, a long journey. >> exhausting. >> what did surprise you? >> it was interesting. i thought i kind of knew everything about my families, my mom's side of the family but my dad's side always interested me, born in a small town in mississippi, grew up in a very poor family. the vanderbilt side is well-known, i didn't know too much about my dad's side and there were some big surprises. let's take a look. my dad, wyatt cooper, died when i was 10. when you're a kid, you lose a parent, it's like the world as you know it comes to an end, clocks are reset. the calendar goes back to zero. after my dad died in 1978, it was just me, my mom, and my brother, carter. my mom and dad met at a dinner party in 1962. they couldn't have been from
more different backgrounds. that's the thing that interests me the most about my heritage. the different branches my family tree mapped out by ancestry.com started off so apart and have come together in me. my mom is gloria vanderbilt. she was born into a family of great wealth, but it was a different time, when parents like hers had little to do with raising their kids. her dad was reginald vanderbilt. he died when she was an infant. her mom, gloria morgan, was just 18 and had no idea how to raise a child. when my mom was 10, her father's sister, gertrude vanderbilt whitney, a sculptor who founded whitney museum went to court to take custody of my mom away from my grandmother. at the time it was called the trial of the century. it was at the height of the depression and made headlines around the world. it's hard to believe, but the court decided my mom should be taken away from her own mother and raised by her aunt gertrude,
who see barely knew. for my mom, that wound, that pain is something that's never gone away. whenever people ask me about my family history they're usually just referring to the vanderbilt side of my family which is understandable, i suppose. the first vanderbilt came to america back in 1650. his name was ian arten vanderbilt. vanderbilt means from the bilt which is a town in holland. ian artsen settled in new york's staten island. he was an indentured servant but within self-generations the family's fortune took a dramatic turn. in 1794 my great, great, great grandfather was born. he bought a small boat, began ferrying cargo on the hudson river. cornelius vanderbilt was a tough businessman, to say the least. he undercut his competitors and built a fleet of steamships and eventually moving into railroads. this is new york's grand central terminal, an extraordinary
structure. back in 1869, cornelius vanderbilt bought 23 acres of land here in what's new midtown manhattan to build a depot for his new york central railroad. it wasn't called grand central terminal until 1913. there's an imposing statue of him outside the building. for years i thought all grandparents turned into statues when they died. they built huge mansions. excess was what they became known for. some enormous houses in newport, rhode island, now museums open to the public but many of the mansions they built in new york have been torn down. this was my great grandmother's house which once occupied an entire block on new york's fifth avenue. it's gone and now the department store bergdorf goodman stands in the spot. growing up, i neve really paid much attention to the history of the vanderbilts. i read about them in school
books but they never seemed real to me. it was like reading about strangers. the truth is i was glad not to have the vanderbilt last name and the baggage that came with it. i always wanted to make a name for myself. the part of my mom's family that did interest me as a kid was her mother's side. her mom, gloria morgan, was beautiful and had an identical twin, a sister named telma. their father was an american diplomat and their mother was half chilean. laura kilpatrick morgan's father married a chilean woman in 1865 when he was the american counsel to chile. his name was general juddson kilpatri kilpatrick. he fought in the civil war. they called him kilpatrick kill cavalry because he got so many of his own men killed. he was one of lincoln's youngest generals, a graduate of west point deeply opposed to slavery
and deeply political and apparently corrupt. in tracing the history of general kilpatrick i was stunned to learn the two different branches of my family nearly met, it happened on the battlefield in the civil war. the battle of rusaka, general kilpatrick was shot and wounded and had to leave the battlefield. the very next day burrell cooper, my great, great grandfather on my father's side joined the battle except he wasn't fighting for the union. he was fighting for the alabama infantry confederacy. i find it amazing the two branches my family came so close together here on this field in georgia, one opposed to the evils of slavery, fighting for the union, the other for the confederacy, fighting to support slavery. my dad was born here in mississippi in 1927, though growing up as a kid i neve felt all that connected to the vanderbilt side of my family, i was always really interested in my dad's southern roots.
my dad and i look a lot alike. this was him as a kid. this was me. my dad's dad emmitt cooper was a former. i like this photo of him a lot, his heavy lidded eyes, the air of sadness about him. he married my grandmother, jenny anderson, when she was a teenager. my dad was born in this house in 1927. the house my dad was born in has long since been torn down. there's no sign of it anymore. the land is mostly forest, still owned by coopers. my dad wrote a book a few years before he died called "families" a memoir about growing up in mississippi and also a celebration of the importance of family. i reread it every year and think of it as a letter from my dad to me. my dad's memoir is full of family stories, the tales of people whose names will never appear in history books or newspapers, but who raised
families, worked hard, and struggled to make a living off the land. people like my great grandfather, william preston cooper wasn't very religious own an his death bed they tried to baptize him. he refused, yelling all they needed to do was bring him a woman and he'd have no need of dying. my second cousin offered to take me to the graves of some of these family legends. >> that's it. >> oh, wow. >> reporter: deep in the woods we found an overgrown cemetery from another branch of my family. this is the bulls cemetery. this is incredible >> haven't been in here in a long time. >> reporter: the bulls married into the cooper family back before the civil war. >> that's grandpa bauurrell's wife. >> that's burrell cooper's wife? >> uh-huh. >> wow. >> watch for snakes. >> reporter: i grew up reading
stories about burrell's ancestors. he would kill men for cussing in front of women. >> right. >> reporter: she also wanted to show me another cemetery. i'd read about it in my dad's book but i'd never been there myself. >> this is extraordinary this voyage you got to go on. >> it was really cool and it was nice to go back to mississippi and see cousins and relatives who i hadn't seen in a long time. it was interesting and gets more surprising coming up. >> that was a cliffhanger. >> i liked coop's signature cooperness when he was discussing how his family used to kill people but didn't deseven it and if they cussed in front of women. >> he's like um-hum, yeah, he used to do that. >> you cleaned up the language just in case. the great part is there's a lot more to the journey and we're going to dig deeper when our holiday edition of "new day" continues.
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welcome back to our special holiday edition of "new day." we're turning back to anderson's journey finding out more about his past. you cannot wait to see what more anderson found out. let's take a look. >> reporter: i'm trying to find the old cooper family cemetery. it's here along the mississippi/alabama border, deep in the woods, hard to find, near
a house where my great grandfather, william preston cooper used to live. we traveled along a dirt road for miles through forests of trees and canyons of kudzu before we found it. relatives trying to clear the undergrowth and cut down trees to clear the cemetery but one of the amazing things about it, the cemetery is so old a lot of the head stones have disappeared or just worn away by the elements. you can't see the names of people anymore. it's even hard to tell what's a headstone. here we found the grave of burrell cooper, my great, great grandfather. confederate states of america. who fought on the same battlefield during the civil war of my other great, great grandfather, juddson kilpatrick. burrell cooper was shot in the right hand during the civil war, lost one of his fingers and partially par liesed in his right arm. because of the paralysis he struggled the rest of his life to earn a living for his six
kids. he died at the age of 54. his life was a far cry from juddson kilpatrick's life who survived the war and went on to become u.s. ambassador to chile. lot of people in my family fought for the confederacy, nearly all were too poor to own slaves except for one, burrell cooper's grandfather. i recently discovered one of my ancestors owned slaves, my great, great, great grandfather burrell boykin, he won 12 slaves. he was killed by one of the slaves in 1860, one year before the civil war began. it's one thing to read about slavery in history books. it's another to learn that a distant relative of mine took part in that evil. >> i'm so glad you came. >> reporter: thank you. my dad and his family left quitman during world war ii and moved to new orleans. his mother, my grandmother, jenny anderson, worked in the
higgins hughes factory making landing craft for the war. she loss sold ladies hats at the department store. when i was in new orleans reporting in the wake of hurricane katrina, completely by coincidence i stumbled across my dad's old high school, it had been flooded during the storm. this is the school now. back then it was called francis t. nichols public high school. he was a confederate general, governor of louisiana. one of the things i love about new orleans it's a is it i that embraces its past, even if that past is painful. they don't try to erase history. francis t. nichols name is still on my dad's old high school, still etched in stone. his likeness still etched above the door. he was most likely racist, definitely segregationist but they haven't removed his name from the school even though the school itself is now the frederick a. douglass high school named after the famous
abolitionist. we were invited to take a look around. people work at the school said they had old files but i couldn't imagine they'd have any of my dad's. wow, look at this. they showed me closets full of old records and posters dating all the way back to the 1940s. >> they moved back after the war. >> reporter: i couldn't find anything that belonged to my dad. as i was leaving, the school nurse came outside with a surprise for me. oh my god! >> that's all, a report card but they have the file cabinets back there. >> reporter: this is his photo. >> that's him. yes. there you go. >> reporter: oh, ma'am, that's sweet of you. >> i love you. >> reporter: my dad's report card. it's crazy. can you believe they had my dad's report card going back to 1944. they just had it in a file somewhere in the back. that's awesome. this is what i'm talking about in new orleans in history. they don't throw away the history. it's all here.
it's all, the past is very much alive in new orleans. my dad worked as an actor for years, appearing on stage and tv. even had a tiny bit part in "the seven hills of rome" we stayed up late one night when it was on tv when i was a kid. >> hey mark. >> wyatt. >> good luck tonight. i'll be out front leading the cheering section. >> reporter: he then became a screenwriter and wrote for magazines as well. my dad is buried in staten island next to my brother, who died in 1988. there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think about them both. i wonder what they would think of me, of the person i've become. the thing about death is that, after a while, you can't remember what a person sounded like, you forget all the little things that you once knew, the sound they made when they opened up the front door, the way they walked, the way they laughed. >> my feelings about what i want
my sons to be -- >> reporter: a couple months ago clock tower radio restored an interview my father did in 1975. >> my relationships with my sons, which are both quite extraordinary, i mean my relationship with each son is quite extraordinary. >> reporter: i listened to it in my office at work. it was the first time i had heard my father's voice since he was 10 years old. >> they ask me questions, and ask how much does a stunt man make, because that's what he would like to be, you know? >> reporter: the thing about the past is, one can't help what zip code one was born in, what country or family you're descended from. all you can do is learn the lessons of those who came before you, their stories action their mistakes and their successes. you can't choose what family you're born into. >> i have certain expectations. >> reporter: all you can really do is choose how you want to live your own life. >> they will behave with hopper and with dignity.
>> anderson that's a powerful statement. we don't get to choose the family we're born into. we often think about that when we look at the stories we cover in the news is that these people in the stories that we're covering don't choose the existence they're in. >> we all have heroes and villains in our past and there's nothing you can do about it. it's just about learning the lessons of the past and also to be able to hear my dad's voice for the first time since he was 10-year-old was extraordinary and that i was sort of a great blessing, something i didn't expect and a rare treat. >> wow, that's so poignant. there were a lot of surprises for you. you think you know most of it. >> that is true, yes. >> and yet -- >> there's records for everything out there. it's really, you can find it if you're interested in going back and looking. >> did it wind up making you want to know more? do you feel you know enough? >> i don't know what more there is i could possibly know. there's a lot i'd actually, i learned my great, great, great,
great grandfather on my dad's side was the only person on that side of the family who owned slaves and most of the relatives who fought for the confederacy were too poor to own slaves. they probably would have if it they could have but they didn't. i'd like to know about the descendants of those enslaved people. one of them killed my great, great, great, great grandfather with a garden hoe. it would be fascinating to know about thatter. 's descendants and where they are. >> where those people are. >> yes. >> it's interesting. we've been talking about what this did for each of us that took this roots journey. i'm curious, have you reconnected with some of the family members? >> definitely. lot of the mississippi relatives i hadn't been in as close touch, recey i'm in touch with and her grandkids have been sending e-mails so it's nice to reconnect. that's the other thing. it remind you of all your roots and it's great to see relatives you haven't seen for a while and you realize my head is like, there's that weird cooper shape
of the head and little mannerisms i do, that's a cooper mannerism. that's nice to see. >> happy christmas, merry christmas to all the coopers in mississippi, too. >> thanks for come in. >> it was a pleasure. >> appreciate you doing that. merry christmas to you, my brother. they've been wonderful all morning and truly made this christmas day edition of "new day" very special for us. so in a moment we'll hear more from the young people's chorus of new york city. stick around. [ laughs ] -i'm flo! -i know! i'm going to get you your rental car. this is so ridiculous. we're going to manage your entire repair process from paperwork to pickup, okay, little tiny baby? your car is ready, and your repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own it. the progressive service center -- a real place, where we really manage your claim from start to finish. really. ♪ easy as easy can be bye!
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thank you so much for joining us on this christmas morning especially the holiday edition of "new day." we wish you and yours a very, very happy holiday and whatever you celebrate, we just hope you have a great day together every day for us. >> absolutely. >> it's great to be together. in fact you got your beautiful little hat. what's this i found? oh, hello! hello mistletoe. come on, a little bit. little bit of sugar, pretend you like it. there it is. >> on this year more than ever
don't you think we need peace on earth. may there be peace in 2015. >> yes, wishing you a healthy and peaceful year to come. >> thanks for joining us. a lot of news this morning. let's get you to "cnn newsroom." we thank the young people's chorus of new york city. "deck the halls." ♪ deck the halls with boughs of holly ♪ ♪ fa la, la, la, la, la, 'tis the season to be jolly ♪ ♪ fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ ♪ don we now our gay apparel ♪ fa, la, la, fa, la, la, la ♪ troll the ancient yuletide carol ♪ ♪ fa, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪ see the blazing yule before us ♪ ♪ fa, la, la, la, la, la, la
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye in for carol costello. thank you for joining me. mer ris country mass, buo buon natle, sfeliz navida. these are live pictures out of bethlehem. last night thousands traveled to the biblical birthplace of jesus for midnight mass. pope francis delivered his christmas day blessing a beautiful ceremony as thousands filled st. peter's square.