tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 26, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PST
can help. >> reporter: do you see a solution in your lifetime? >> yes, we do, in fact that's why we're here. >> you talk about humor and that video with sarah silverman going viral. matt damon's organization is working on its own humorous video and they hope to release it in the new year. hopefully they will do that and to help out water.org go to cnn.com/impact. tomorrow. >> who do you have tomorrow? >> matthew mcconaughey and his effort to get high schoolers to eat right and get fit. i look forward to that. >> you have a rough job there. >> somebody's got to do it. >> thank you for joining us here today. joining us tomorrow at 5:00 on "early start." "cnn newsroom" with carol
costello now. tornadoes in the south and blizzards from arkansas to ohio. do you have the right to know if your neighbor owns a gun? a newspaper in new york says yes and publishes the name of those who have gun permits. christmas is over but shopping is not. if you're heading out to return the gift that wasn't exactly what you wanted, you will not be alone. tom cruise may not be the ideal action hero but his love life made it into the top ten. "newsroom" starts now. girnlgs low. the day after christmas means relaxing or wracking up deals at the mall. for people in the west and the south it's cleanup after severe weather ripped through the
region. waterspout was located in lake pontchartrain. parts of arkansas saw several inches of snow and snapping power lines and of course canceling flights. in mississippi the governor declared a state of emergency after at least eight counties reported damage. strong winds and heavy rains made the commute along this stretch of i-20 east of jackson a difficult one to say the least. it added up to a chaotic christmas day for a good chunk of the country. >> oh my god look, that's a tornado. oh, wow. >> reporter: skies over mobile, alabama, turned ominous as the storms approached. residents ran for cover as it touched down. >> we stepped out and you could see it doing its thing and then it came behind the church. >> i prayed to god as loud as i
cou could, i was praying for my safety and i knew the truck was shaking. i prayed that the truck stayed put and god would protect me and the ones in walgreens. >> reporter: tornado sirens blaired. >> it's right there. >> reporter: many grabbed cameras to catch what appeared to be a funnel cloud forming. >> we have to hurry and get past this. >> reporter: the winds knocked out electricity to more than 20,000 people across the state, damage was widespread, more than 30 reports of tornadoes from texas to alabama. the day got off to a rough start in oklahoma, more than 20 weeks were involved in an early morning accident that shut down interstate 40 joust outside oklahoma city. texas got a double dose of bad weather, a 25-year-old man was killed near houston after a tree fell on his pickup. snow covered the ground in long view and turned dallas into a winter wonderland and blizzard warnings stretched from arkansas
to pennsylvania. turning to mobile, alabama, windows were shattered and cars tossed off streets as this tornado touched down. >> oh my god, we need to go. it's right there. >> that's scary. several buildings damaged and several car accidents were blamed on the storm but no reports of serious injuries. emergency management officials tell cnn power has been restored to many customers, just over 7,000 in the dark, down from 23,000 last night. we head to mobile, christina leavenworth of w.e.a.r. in just about an hour weather officials will assess damage. christina, what are you hearing so far? >> reporter: good morning, carol. we are seeing a lot of damage here and it's widespread. the national weather service is saying the tornado touched down in five different locations, one
of them here at murphy high school. we'll look quick, that was the cafeteria and pieces of portable classrooms smashed into it. we're seeing a lot of roof damage, we have pieces of the spanish tile flown off, hundreds of windows blown out of classrooms. right now there are crews on the scene already cleaning up and they have a lot of cleanup to do. right now they don't know how much this is going to cost them to fix up. initial reports right now all but one of the portable classrooms completely destroyed, many of these sticks and splinters you see behind me are what they are now. also the roof of the band hall literally picked up and moved. you can see the sky now and as far as the athletic facility several windows have blown out. the school was built back in the 1920s and one of the largest in alabama with 2,000 students. they're in a rush to get everything back open january 3rd. as far as the rest of mobile they saw damage in other areas
as far as houses, a church was damaged as well as the infirmary. there are no reports of injuries or anyone killed. reporting live, christina leavenworth, back to you. >> thanks so much. it's the east coast's turn as the heavy snow seen here in seymour, indiana, is expected to make its way to the ohio valley and further east. these are taped pictures but not taken too long ago. you see the reporter there. blizzard warnings in effect for several states. strong winds and rain and ice could impact the mid-atlantic, possible flight delays for those of you headed home for the holiday. bonnie schneider is here with us. >> the last thing you want on the day after christmas but that's what we're expecting with the huge storm that is record-breaking for little rock, bringing snow they haven't seen since 86 years christmas day. we're getting heavy snow in
indianapolis. low clouds and rain, windy in new york city and long island, washington, detroit, memphis and out west san francisco with a different storm system impacting that region. right now moving forward you can see heavy bands of snow throughout indiana and illinois, sliding to the east and we have severe weather breaking out, i've been tracking the thunderstorms all morning long and they are strong and intense across parts of the chair lie in as. notice the red and the green that indicates higher cloud tops, we're getting intensity and rain and it's that part of the country we're watching out for severe weather. we may see tornadoes break out. today we're looking at heavy snow across illinois, indiana and ohio, it could be a foot or more moving forward and two areas of pennsylvania and new england tomorrow. this storm is not over yet. >> all right, bonnie, thanks so much. now we turn to the bizarre and trangic shooting in upstate new york on christmas eve. two firefighters were shot and
killed after responding to a call that a house was on fire and this morning we're learning more about the shooter, his name is william spengler. police say the 62-year-old set fire to his sister's house and then shot firefighters as they responded to the blaze. police also think he killed his sister, her body was found in the burned home. spengler left a suicide note which read "i still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood i can burn down and do what i like doing best, killing people." but as far as why he did it police say they may never know. >> just to clarify there was no motive in the note. there were some ramblings, intelligence we could be tained investigators need to follow up on. he intended to burn his neighborhood down and kill as many people as possible before stopping. as far as motive all kinds of
speculation and truthfully we do not. >> funerals for michael chiapperini and tomasz kaczowka are held today. joseph hofstetter and jason scardino are recovering from surgery. the moderator of "meet the dress" was interviewing nra vice president wayne lapierre when he brought out something that caught the attention of d.c. police. >> here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. isn't it possible if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said you could only have a magazine that carries five or ten bullets, isn't it just possible we could reduce the carnage in a situation like newtown? >> i don't believe that's going to make one difference. >> it's not known whether that magazine was an authentic clip
or just a prop. possessing a large capacity magazine is illegal in the district of columbia. police are investigating. nbc not commenting. guess what it's boxing in the uk, canada and several other country and shoppers are mobbing the stores. these are the crowds in london. the 26th of december is like black friday here in the united states. analysts expect 4 million british shopper also spend nearly $5 billion today, back here at home, it will be a similar scene today as people head to return those unwanted gifts and jump on big post holiday sales and we do mean big. check out this deal from best buy, a 32 inch tv for under $200. those are the kinds of deals we're seeing at major retailers. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange. tell us more. >> it's like having a flashback
to black friday. the deals, everybody killing each other just to get the deals but if you're a retailer you take a big hit on a day like today because the national retail federation says almost 11% of whole day gifts we got are returns. that adds up to $60 billion and a lot of that happens today. it's a busy day for retailers. if you're returning stuff today that's some good news here, most stores are keeping their return policies the same as last year so the whole process should be more familiar. even better, 10% of retailers say they're loosening their return policies, compares to 5% who loosen their policies last year so that works in shoppers' favor but remember retailers are still trying to get you in to spend money. they're offering big sales as you said, carol, and they know if you come in with a return you're likely to look around and do a little extra shopping on your own so you get rid of the sweater, buy the dress, they got you in the store, carol, so they
know they have a captive audience. >> the stores are opening just about now on the east coast and the midwest. any tips? >> if you're returning something and not shopping, avoid the crowd. i'm into that. go in a few days. workers may be less frazzled and they're more likely to help you. if you have to get out there and return today, you really want to check the return policy before you go. you want to make sure that what you're getting back is what you're supposed to get back and to be realistic, web you ask them to be a little bit more lenient on you, also remember to bring all the original packaging, bring the tags and bring your receipt, take the gift receipt, too. the reality with that is you won't get the cash back but you'll get the value that the person paid instead of the sale price and then you can go crazy, go shopping and the way retailers see it, they hope you spend more than the gift cards you walk in and spend more than what you get back on the gift
receipt. >>? the next hour you'll give us specific deals at specific stores we should look for. >> will do. >> >> thanks, alison. a newspaper in new york thinks you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood so the newspaper published a map showing the names and addresses of people with gun permits and surprisingly, a backlash has begun. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. 15 minutes past the hour. you've heard a lot about the fiscal cliff lately. how will it actually affect you? what happens to your taxes if we go off the cliff?
according to the tax policy center if you're sing well no children and make $50,000 a year you will see your taxes go up by $1,500 if no deal is reached. married couple with two kids making $100,000 would see their taxes go up a whopping $5,300 per year. taxes will go up the same amount underneath the democratic and republican plans if no deal is reached. just one day after the christmas holiday, president obama is packing his bags, heading back to washington to try to forge a deal on the fiscal cliff, with just six days left to negotiate, a deal to avoid the catastrophic cliff, the president will leave hawaii tonight to try to work on a bargain between democrats and republicans. brianna keilar is traveling with the president in hawaii and joins us now. good morning, brianna. did the president cut his vacation short or was it planned all along? >> reporter: he did cut his vacation short from what was initially planned which was to go through the new year, so yes,
he cut it short. i think we have a sense he might be heading back to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense he would be coming back earlier than initially planned and it was just a matter of when, not if, and he'll be heading back tonight, that's local time so he'll be traveling overnight, it's quite a long flight, nine or ten hours and he'll be back in d.c. by thursday late morning. >> any behind the scene talks over the holiday? >> reporter: right now the white house has been in communication with senate democrats but i've checked in with my sources even this morning, republican sources and they're still not in touch with senate democrats or the white house, so that's pretty key. i guess you can understand it right now the white house and senate democrats are trying to
cobble something together as they work towards putting forth a proposal. ultimately it needs republican support in the senate and the house. those discussions have to take place at some point if there's going to be some republican support for any bill that might pass congress to avert the fiscal cliff. >> brianna keilar reporting live from hawaii this morning. checking our top stories before heading back to d.c. to try to head off the physical -- the fiscal cliff. you know what i'm saying. the president and first lady michelle obama visited marines and thanked them for their service. >> the greatest honor i have as president is being commander in chief and the reason it's an honor is because not only do we have the finest military in the world but we also have the finest fighting men and women in the world. >> mrs. obama and the girls won't cut short their vacation. they're staying on in hawaii. former braves great andruw
jones free on a bond in atlanta on a battery charge. there was a domestic dispute between he and his wife. the center fielder played with the new york yankees last year and recently signed with a team in japan. the city of los angeles is holding its annual gun buyback today, several months ahead of schedule. the buyback program allows anyone to bring in guns and rifles in exchange for gift cards. the event is usually held in may but was changed to today in response to the connecticut school shootings nearly two weeks ago. we'll talk about that buyback program with the los angeles antonio villaraigosa in about 45 minutes. do you have the right to know if your neighbor owns a gun? a new york newspaper says yes. it posted the gun permits in new york counties. each red dot represents a person who has a gun permit.
police -- people whose names were posted on this site they're not very happy. we did reach out for a statement from the newspaper, it sent us one "the massacre in newtown, connecticut, remains at top-of-mind for many of our readers. our readers are understandably and keenly interested to know about who owns guns in their neighborhoods." joining me to talk about this is job than lowey, legal director for the brady center to prevent gun violence. good morning, jonathan, how are you? >> good morning, carol. >> thanks for joining us. to be clear you are for gun control so everybody knows. so this newspaper who decided to publish the names of people who own gun permits, do you think it should have? >> i don't think they should have. i think this shows a lack of judgment by the newspaper, and i think that we should not be stigmatizing every law-abiding gun owner out there and i think
particularly after newtown, let's engage in a conversation about sensible policies that going owners, including probably many of these people whose names were printed in the paper and most americans agree on, like background checks for all gun sales and getting military style assault weapons off the streets and other sensible policies. >> the interesting thing about this, apparently these gun permits are for handguns only because you can't find out who owns let's say a semiautomatic assault rifle. those things aren't made public. why is that? >> well, that is a serious problem, the gun lobby has exerted its pressure to keep a lot of very important crime gun data secret, for example, there are restrictions which now prevent us from finding out which gun dealers supply most
crimin criminals. gun lobbyists shut it down with friends in congress which protects corrupt gun dealers. most law-abiding gun dealers would like to expose the bad ones. >> so you don't think it's okay to publish people with permits who own handguns but is it okay to publish the names of people who own more heavyduty weapons? >> i just think it's a focus on the wrong thing here. there are a lot of sensible reforms that we can do. i don't think this sort of public exposure is the right path. i really think we need to look for ways where gun owners and non-gun owners agree and there are many things that we can do. i do think that the media needs to be able to get data, for
example, "florida sun sentinel" exposed the fact there were over 1,400 people who pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies yet were issued concealed carry permits in florida. that was very important. the gun lobby's response was to get the flawed legislature to make the names secret so you couldn't do that analysis. that was wrong headed by the legislature. this i think was wrong headed by the media. >> jonathan from the brady center thank you for joining thus morning. >> thank you. >> it's today's talk back question, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood? facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn. we'll be right back. 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ]
now is your chance to talk back on the big story of the day. the question of the morning and we'd like to continue the conversation with the question, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood. if you out me, then i'll out you. there's a backlash against the newspaper, "the journal news" in new york's hudson valley. the paper published this map showing those with two accounts. with a click you can see the name and address of each person licensed to own a handgun. in the aftermath of the newtown shootings, the impear puts it, people are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them are in their neighborhoods. hundreds of residents were shocked to see, bloggers are outing "the journal news"
publishing the names and addresses of its staff. an ex-marine and gun owner who called in to the paper says "it's as if gun owners are sex offenders and to own a handgun risks exposure as if one is a sex offender. it's in my mind crazy." you can find out how much your neighbor paid for their house, how much in taxes they pay, often you can find out how much money your neighbor makes, how old they are, if they filed for bankruptcy, been sued or divorced, so what's different about finding out if your neighbor owns a gun? so the talk back question for you, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood? facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn. i'll be right back. ? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing.
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good morning, him ecarol costello. it's 30 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories. we're 30 seconds away from the start of trading at the new york stock exchange. representatives from the new york national guard are ringing the opening bell today. [ bell ringing ] more than 4,000 guards and airmen helped the victims of superstorm sandy. investors are still concerned about the looming fiscal cliff. blizzard warning in up to six states. in arkansas the national guard has been called to provide
ambulance service for residents. heavy snow and strong winds will lead to whiteout conditions across the ohio river valley. the heaviest snow is expected to move into western pennsylvania and new york state this afternoon. hundreds of american families wanting to adopt russian children may have their dreams dashed. they have given final approval for a ban on such adoptions, seen as payback for a recently signed u.s. law imposing travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in russia. there are six days left until the u.s. crosses over the so-called fiscal cliff. in case washington doesn't make a deal we're doing our best to get you ready. every day we're taking a look at how the fiscal cliff if we go off the fiscal cliff how that will affect you from the increase in your tax bill to planning for your retirement. today we'll focus on your
portfolio. ryan mack joins me via skype from detroit. >> good morning to you, how are you doing today? >> i'm good. you've got some advice for people to manage their portfolios, let's start with the first step you need to review your asset classes. >> there's a study in the '80s simply says over 95% of your portfolio return will determine exactly how you choose the mixture of stocks and other investments you have in your portfolio. with the assistance of a qualified adviser making sure you have the right mixture of stocks can be ever so crucial especially during the volatile time we see in the markets today. >> if you make any changes i guess you have to take into account what your tolerance is for risk. >> yes. i mean look, we've seen the markets going crazy right now, a lot of individuals are looking up and downs and a lot of things we're telling the folks we work
with, let's look at it more long-term first of all. the fiscal cliff might seem extremely large right now. we look at the more long-term view, a small blip on the overall screen. we'll see a lot of volatility but can you deal with the volatility and if it's causing to you lose sleep it might have an indication you might want to make some changes. >> it's hard not to have a knee-jerk reaction. before we get to that talk about tax deferred accounts. how will the fiscal cliff affect them. >> this is the beautiful part about this is that the biggest concern individuals are having that we've worked with and talking to, what is going to happen with my taxes? what is going to happen with my dividends taxes, capital gains? so the best part about it, if you're dealing with non-qualified accounts you might have to be concerned about that but qualified accounts or tax deferred accounts such as your 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, roth and traditional, these accounts are
tax deferred and many 509 plans, college savings plans, different types of concept are tax deferred and some are tax free such as 529 so maximize this and eliminates the risk or concerns you have with your taxes because these are tax deferred accounts. >> okay, so probably safe to say don't touch them but how can you avoid the knee-jerk reactions when you see you're losing so much money? >> we've seen it. in 2009, the sky is falling, chicken little and everything's going wrong and we can't seem to, we want to jump out of the market. those in 2009 missed a 130% return in the market because they dived out at the bottom. we don't want to be a part of the individuals who as we want to buy, we want to buy low and sell high and that might be an old cliche but it works. what a lot of individuals are trying to do, they're doing is i want to sell, get rid of the risk and jump out because the
fiscal cliff seems too much to take. this is one small blip in a long-term scheme of investment strategy. five plus years we should be looking at, not just a few months time span that's caused by political agenda. our economic agenda and fiscal house says let's not make any rash decisions and do some things that we'd look back on and say i missed a lot of good return. >> all right, thank you so much, ryan mack, for joining us this morning. ryan will be back with us all week, tackling the fiscal cliff effect on your pocketbook. tomorrow ryan's take on what could be a ballooning tax bill for us. chris brown and rihanna keeping people guessing about the next step in their lives.
war has started. and we are hopelessly outgunned. >> oh, i love that movie. we are going back to the movies big time. "usa today" reports box office ticket sales are heading toward an all-time high, breaking 2009's record. hollywood's take has been boosted by some blockbusters including "the avengers."
according to boxofficemojo.com "the avengers" took in more than $623 million over a five-month period. woo! tom cruise is big at the box office but he made it into the year's top entertainment stories for something he did off screen and you probably know what that is. here's nischell turner with our rundown. >> reporter: catchy dance tunes, celebrity tunes and the tragic death of a singing icon, a few of the topics that had people talking. here's the look at the top ten stories from 2012. ♪ call me maybe >> reporter: the viral sensation "call me maybe" it earned countless re-enactments, like this video posted by the u.s. olympic swim team. the force is strong with disney
in a move that caught many by surprise the "star wars" franchise george lucas sold his company, lucas film to the entertainment empire for more than $4 billion. disney announced plans for three more "star wars" films. it's the superstar relationship that has hollywood asking are they or aren't they? chris brown who then beat girlfriend rihanna in 2009 said in october he's renewed his friendship with the singer. is it more than just friends? song collaborations and vague tweets from rihanna have suggested otherwise. >> they want to keep everyone guessing and don't want to explain what's going on with their relationship to anyone in the world. >> the jacksons family drama turning into a reality show. >> more turmoil last summer as michael jackson's teen ainged daughter paris announced on twitter her grandmother and
guardian katherine jackson was missing forcing a judge to suspend her guardianship of michael's three kids. >> katherine jackson says she wasn't kidnapped. >> reporter: michael's siblings said their mother was resting in arizona under doctor's orders. judge later restored katherine as permanent guardian of michael's children. >> lindsay's tearing up my pants, mama. >> whether it was a pleasure or guilty pleasure audiences couldn't turn away from "here comes honey boo-boo" about a child beauty pageant contestant and her family. ♪ gangnam style >> a world phenomenon after the virus video hit the web. it became the number one watched video on youtube with more than 970 million views.
the newfound time wasn't without controversy. harsh anti-american remarks he made 2004 resurfaced online, apologized saying his lyrics resulted from events in the war with iraq. new sexual misconduct accusations against the former voice of elmo. >> in one of the most surprising stories of the year, kevin clash was forced to resign from "sesame street" after being accused of being in sexual relationships with minors. the lawyer says the cases are without merit but clash opted to leave "sesame street" after 28 years. >> i love you. >> kristen stewart and robert patinson were one of the hottest couples until a fling between the actress and the man who directed her in "snow white and the huntsman". >> she released a very public
statement asking robert for forgiveness. >> patinson apparently did forgive, just in time for the premiere of "the twilight saga breaking down part two" in november. >> celebrity splits sending shock waves. >> after nearly six years of marriage katie holmes filed for divorce from tom cruise in june, blind-siding hollywood's biggest movie star. >> it was incredible katie holmes had everything well prepared. >> holmes asked for full custody of suri, the couple settled amicably on the divorce. two weeks later ending one of the most high-profile celebrity marriages. >> you're watching cnn the breaking news of whitney houston's death. >> it was a tragic end to an iconic singer's successful but often troubled career. whitney houston who battled with drugs and alcohol for decades died february 11th in a hotel
bathtub at the age of 48, the night before the grammy awards. houston's death was an accidental drowning with the effects of heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. ♪ and i >> reporter: nischelle turner, cnn, hollywood. good news for the economy, home prices are up in more than two years. alison kosik is up next from the new york stock exchange. we know this issue of food supply is looming. we know it's out there. i don't think enough people are really aware or thinking about what's to come, so many mouths to feed in the world, it's going to be scary. >> the united states imports i think about 85% seafood consumed and i think from a food safety, food security point of view i think the united states needs to
47 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories. president obama leaving hawaii today to return to washington for a last-ditch effort to reach a fiscal cliff deal. the senate and house are expected to reconvene tomorrow. we're six days away from possible across the board tax increases and spending cuts. former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital. his wife, barbara, and other relatives at his side. the 88-year-old has been in the hospital for more than a month with a lingering cough and recently had a low grade fever. doctors remain cautiously optimistic about a full recovery. a claim of facebook privacy breach within the zuckerberg family. his sister says a family photo was reposted by another person on twitter. randy zuckerberg called the woman out. the woman apologized said it was public because it was in her facebook newsfeed. in china the longest high
speed railway opens, connects beijing with guangzhou, 1,500 in eight hours, but tickets start at $138, and they're a little pricey for some people and many travelers say it's cheaper and faster to fly. a report just out this morning shows home prices up in october, the biggest annual gain in more than two years. alison kosik joins us from the new york stock exchange. tell us more. >> this is a bigger gain than analysts were expecting. home prices in 20 of the biggest cities in the u.s. went up by 4.3% in october compared to october of last year and as you said it is the biggest increase in more than two years. prices also they've gone up for five months in a row so that's more good news as well as far as the momentum goes.
this jives with a lot of the other housing reports that have come in on the positive side talking about home sales, home building, builder confidence, all of those are showing this upward momentum, so yeah, housing is definitely in recovery mode, and it's really helping to boost the entire economy. in fact we saw that with third quarter gdp that housing is actually helping to push the entire economy forward because it accounted for a decent chunk of gdp but don't pop the champagne cork just yet. home prices are down 29% from their peak hit in 2006 so we're seeing this momentum happen in the housing market but we've still got a long way to go. >> we're never going to see the numbers we saw in 2006. >> never say never. >> that would be a miracle. which are doing the best, by the way? >> the cities that took the biggest hit during the recession are also seeing the biggest increases. in phoenix, prices are up more than 20% from last year. also on the list, areas like
detroit and miami that were really hit hard during the housing bust. both have recovered from their lowest housing prices we saw during the recession. only two of the 20 cities that were measured showed a decline. they include chicago and new york city. but new york also had a much smaller housing bust and it's all relative. even what's considered a low price in new york is hard to afford anyway. it's all relative. >> almost impossible for most of us. >> exactly. >> alison kosik, thanks so much. today's talkback question, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood? your responses next. questions?
the weather outside is certainly frightening. you're looking at affiliate pictures from wxin of indianapolis, indiana. you can see it's foggy and snowy there. driving conditions very dangerous here. hopefully people in that area of the country are going to stay at home. blizzard warnings are in effect for several states while strong winds and a mix of rain and ice could impact the entire mid-atlant mid-atlantic. as you can see in washington, d.c., just a little snow on top of the white house this morning, nothing serious. but sure is cold. cold everywhere. but i guess it is december, right? our talkback question of the day, do you have the right to know who own guns in your neighborhood?
this is from jeff,rilliant idea, now the crazies, the gangs, thieves, know where to concentrate their efforts or more importantly where to avoid. another says, it is a public service. the information is public. gun owners seem to think that the second amendment is more important than the first amendment. this from susan, being in the public record and publishing it in the paper are different matters. that was wrong. this from sherry. i'd like to know who owns the guns. i would prefer choosing a home in a gun-free zone. brian says, shouldn't we be going after the people that can't be trusted? registered owners are registered because they can be trusted. from dan, absolutely not, not only does it target these people for burglaries but i also lets criminals know who doesn't have a weapon to protect their homes. this question got a lot of response this morning. i think we got about 200 in about 15 minutes. keep the conversation going. you can tweet me or facebook me.
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but lebron james finds chris bosh under the basket. he makes the easy two. the heat remain at the top of the nba with the knicks. the knicks taking on the lakers in l.a. carmelo anthony's three-pointer puts them up in the third quarter. but kobe bryant, oh, he was solid at crunch time. he finished with 34 points, becoming the all-time scoring leader for christmas day games. lakers win their fifth straight. virginia tech's football team is honoring the victims of sandy hook elementary and the university's own 2007 tragedy. players wearing decals on their helmets with the number 58, those killed in the two shootings. virginia tech cornerback showed his generosity to strangers. he took his bowl game present, a $470 best buy gift card and spent it on three kids who just happened to be in the store. he just wanted them to have a happy christmas. that's awesome. that's a look at sports this
morning. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts right now. happening now in the newsroom, roof ps torn off and scores of power outages. a winter storm slams through the south and midwest. it ain't over yet. we'll tell you where it's headed today. l.a. begins a gun buyback program today five months ahead of schedule. we'll talk to the mayor about the reasons for moving it up. christmas is over, but the shopping isn't. if you're heading out to return that gift that wasn't exactly what you wanted or you want to get in on big postholiday deals, you will not be alone. "newsroom" starts now. good morning. thank you so much for being with us this morning. as washington wrestles with the fiscal cliff, cities across america are struggling with gun violence. two firefighters shot as they rushed to fight a fire in upstate new york. they will be buried today.
police say this man, william spengler, ambushed those firefighters after he set his own house on fire. >> multiple firemen down. multiple firemen shot. i am shot. i think it was an assault rifle. we have multiple firemen down with a working fire. >> the motive, unknown. spengler killed himself and left behind a suicide note. it said in part he was bent on, quote, doing what i like doing best, killing people. even though spengler was on parole for murder, he managed to get ahold of a gun and a powerful one, an assault rifle. so what to do? two communities have very different ideas. in westchester county, outside of new york city, a local paper decided to publish the names of people who have gun permits. in los angeles, the mayor has moved up a gun buyback program in an attempt to get guns off the streets. our own paul vercannon starts our coverage this morning.
good morning. >> reporter: good morning. here in los angeles, in just about two hours, they are going to begin their annual gun buyback program. the mayor reacting to what happened in newtown said that we needed to do something concrete right now. in just app short time, you'll see people will file behind this building. they were supposed to go ahead and take unloaded weapons and put them in their trunk. and what someone said to me off-camera, he said he liked the fact that there is anonymity, that no questions will be asked or paperwork to be filled out, that people will not basically have any photographs taken and that you won't have their license taken down. so that's the key to this gun buyback program. by the way, 8,000 guns taken in over four years. earlier this year on mother's day alone or the day before mother's day, 1,600 guns taken in and a number of assault weapons, almost 300 of them. so the city of l.a. calls this a very successful program. >> paul reporting live from los
angeles this morning. let's talk more about it in los angeles with the mayor there, antonio villaraigosa. welcome, mr. mayor. >> hi, carol. how are you? good morning. happy holidays. >> happy holidays to you. thank you so much for being with us on the day after christmas. we know that's tough for you but we appreciate it. usually the gun buyback program is held in may. why did you decide to move it up? >> people want to do something particularly after the newtown tragedy and now this latest tragedy where two firefighters were shot and killed. they want to act. they're tired of waiting on the congress and on our legislatures to do something. they feel like there's too much talk and not enough action. and this is an opportunity for people to act to get rid of guns that they don't use, that they don't need, that too often are stolen, often used in an accident. in fact, more often used in an accident than defending themselves against an intruder.
so this is an opportunity to get these guns, assault weapons. and we've even had grenade launchers given back in these programs. >> is there any evidence at all, though, these gun buyback programs reduces gun violence in cities like los angeles? >> well, what i can tell you is this, there are 8,000 fewer weapons that can be stolen and used in a crime. not all of them are functioning. most of them are. i can tell you that people feel very, very good about getting rid of weapons that could be stolen, that could be used in an accident or a crime. and we feel good about it as well. the police department is a big supporter of this. my office does this in cooperation with the police department and our gang reduction and youth development office as well. so this is something that our
police department supports 100%. >> still, many experts say gun buyback programs don't reduce gun violence in cities like yours. >> well, there are experts who say we shouldn't have an assault weapons ban, that we shouldn't toughen our background checks, that we should continue with this amendment that prohibits us from doing what we should do to enforce our gun laws. those same experts poo-poo virtually everything we try to do. and this is a great opportunity for people to get involved themselves and not wait on washington. i'm supporting senator feinstein's assault weapons ban. we have one in california. but you could buy assault weapons in arizona and bring them here. you'll get arrested but they do that as well. we need to toughen our laws with our gun shows. 40% of all the guns that are purchased don't require a background check because they're purchased from private sellers.
so there are a number of things we could do. this is just one of them. it's not the only thing. we've got to also address the culture of violence that we have in this country. too many people think it's just okay to walk around and shoot people in the way that you see too often in this country. for those of us who got to watch the nra commercial last week, the notion that more guns in the hands of good people will prevent gun crimes just isn't borne out by the facts. this is an opportunity for people to get rid of guns they just don't need. >> well, let me ask you this question. there is a newspaper in new york state that didded to publish the names of people who had gun permits so people in those neighborhoods could know if the person next door opened a gun. are you in favor of something like this? >> i'm with the representative from the brady center. i think there are -- the answer is no. and i'll tell you why.
i think there are a lot of things we could do that the vast majority of people agree on, like an assault weapons ban, like toughening background checks, like enforcing our gun laws. i think there are things we could do that you could get a broad crosssection of people to support. i don't think this is one of them. >> and you mentioned the nra. it is still a powerful lobbying group. and the more time that passes, memories fade, even though it was a terrible tragedy in newtown. do you really think that anything will be done, really? >> i hope so, carol. i can't tell you that i know for sure. i've seen this happen just as you have. people are passionate about this issue until they see the opposition raise their ugly head. we saw this -- i authored with don parata in the legislature in the late 1990s, the california assault weapons ban, also the saturday night special bill.
we have very tough gun laws. we still have crimes, yes. but there's no question that they've helped to address some of the violence in our country. and i hope that we do act. we need to kt a. there are a lot of things that we could do to toughen our gun laws that are sensible and responsible. and the vast majority of people would agree on. >> mayor antonio villaraigosa, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you, carol. let's shift gears now. more than 200,000 customers without power in the gulf coast region after a massive storm sparked everything fromnow to tornadoes across several states. thunderstorms also in the mix. this is what it looked like on i-20 near jackson, mississippi. heavy rains showering the highway as drivers struggled to see the road in front of them. the governor's declared a state of emergency. in arkansas drivers are being advised to stay off the roads if they possibly can after some parts of the state got several inches of snow and sleet. the storm forcing flight
cancellations and highway closures. and check out these pictures from mobile, alabama. right now, officials are starting to assess the damage after a tornado touched down in five different areas. residents expressing their shock as the storm hit. >> oh, my god, look, that's a tornado. oh, wow. >> skies over mobile, alabama, turned ominous as storms approached. residents ran for cover as it touched down. >> we stepped out and you could see it doing its thing. then it came behind the church. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could and i was just praying for my safety and i knew the truck was shaking. i just prayed that the truck stayed put and god would protect me and the ones in the town. >> reporter: tornado warnings blared as the severe weather moved through the city. >> it's right there. >> reporter: many grabbed cameras to catch what appeared to be a funnel cloud forming. >> we've got to hurry up and get
past this. >> reporter: alabama power officials say the winds knocked out electricity to more than 20,000 people across the state. damage was widespread. there were more than 30 reports of tornadoes from texas to alabama. the day got off to a rough start in oklahoma. more than 20 vehicles were involved in an early-morning accident that shut down interstate 40 just outside of oklahoma city. officials say at least ten people were taken to hospitals. texas got a double dose of bad weather. a 25-year-old man was killed near houston of a tree fell on his pick-up. snow covered the ground in longview and turned dallas into a winter wonderland. let's head to meteorologist bonnie schneider to find out what's coming our way next. >> hi, carol. it's been a busy day, yesterday and today. looking forward now, we have a blizzard blowing across almost the entire state of indiana. two locations to show you right now.
let's start with hamilton county. the snow is coming down heavy and hard there, making for treacherous travel throughout much of the region. in indianapolis, it's not much better. the temperatures, 31 degrees and visibility is so poor. winds are gusting at 37 miles per hour. you have blowing and drifting snow. the blizzard will continue into the evening hours. a lot of the blizzard warnings going until 1:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. take a look at this map. it shows you the storm system right here. you can see the winds coming in from the north especially in st. louis. o only 29 in chicago. looking at the radar picture, heavy rain across eastern sections of north carolina. strong downpours there. and just to the north as you come into virginia. you see that pink right there. freezing rain mixing in with snow and sleet for our nation's capital. in washington, d.c., there's the white house in the distance.
we are looking at some nasty weather working its way through the mid-atlantic and the northeast. it's not going to get any better looking forward. you can see we're looking at heavy, heavy snow, a foot or more in interior new england. that will start tonight into tomorrow. this is a massive storm impacting millions of people. >> be careful out there. bonnie schneider, thanks so much. guess what? it's boxing day in the uk, canada and several other countries. and shoppers are mopping the stores. these pictures show crowds in london this morning. 26th of december is a lot like black friday here in the united states. analysts expect 4 million british shoppers will spend nearly $5 billion today. back here at home, should be a similar scene today as people return unwanted gifts and jump on those big postholiday sales and we do mean big. check out this deal from best buy. a 32-inch tv for under 200 bucks. those are the kinds of deals
we're seeing today. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange with more. >> reporter: get ready, get set, return. and wait in those lines and bring your patience. that's all i have to say because the national retail federation says almost 11% of holiday gifts are returned. that adds up to more than $60 billion for retailers. and a lot of it happens all at once today for retailers. but the good news is most stores are keeping their return policies the same as last year so the theme should be pretty familiar for those who are returning, even better, though, 10% of retailers say they're loosening their return policies, that compares to only about 5% that loosened their return policies last year that's going to work in your favor if you're returning gifts today. but remember, retailers, they're still trying to get you to spend money. they're offering those big dials, lots of things on sale. and they know once they get you in with a return, you're likely to look around a little bit, do some extra shopping there, too. >> let's say you have a lot of returns. what should i bring with me? >> reporter: first of all, why
don't you wait? why do you have to return it today, carol? >> because i want new stuff. >> reporter: all right. there you go. if you're looking for new stuff, you go in and return it and find something else because you may find a new deal. but you want to first check the return policy before you go. make sure you're going to be getting what you're supposed to and that you're realistic about what you're supposed to get in return. and you may be able to ask for leniency if you know the rules ahead of time. bring all of your original packaging, the tags, the receipts, especially the gift receipt. you will get the value that the person paid instead of the sale price. what retailers hope is that you spend more than that gift receipt says. that's what they're banking on. >> alison kosik, thanks so much. up close and personal with severe weather? i'll talk to a man whose christmas holiday was interrupted by this tornado and he loved every minute of it. ♪ if loving you is wrong
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. 16 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories. a new gallup poll shows only half of americans think washington will be able to make a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. 48% of those polled say a deal is not likely. that optimism is waning, though when the poll was done earlier this month, 59% said a deal was likely. former braves great andruw jones is free on a $2,500 bond this morning after being arrested outside of atlanta. he was arrested on a battery charge. the gwinnett county detention center said there was a domestic
dispute between he and his life. the number of extremely obese preschoolers has dropped slightly over the last decade, according to the centerses for disease control and prevention. researchers called the decline modest but say it's encouraging. the cdc adds that part of the decrease could be attributed to awareness campaigns that encourage physical activity and healthy eating. before heading back to d.c. to try to avoid heading off the fiscal cliff, president obama and the first lady kept up a christmas tradition. they visited marines at a base in hawaii thanking them for their service. mrs. obama and their daughters, by the way, won't cut short their vacation. they're staying in hawaii while dad flies home. a trip to a christmas party with the family took an unexpected turn for my next guest and his wife when they ran into this -- >> oh, my god, we need to go. it's right there.
>> his name is david and he joins me now by phone. welcome, david. >> hello, how are you? >> pretty good. you're driving to a christmas party and you see a huge, frightening tornado in front of you. what went through your mind? >> well, the first thing was, i asked my wife to pick up the camera and start getting some footage of it because i know that local news stations and everything were wanting to see what was going on. at that point, we just kind of drove as fast as we possibly could to get out of the way. >> i was going to ask you, so did you stop for a second to shoot these pictures and then drive off as quickly as you could? >> no. we were actually on i-165 northbound when i looked over to my left and noticed that it was forming. and instead of stopping, we just went as fast as we could to get past it, to get on 65 north and
get off on the saraland, alabama, exit to turn around and actually go back home. >> what city were you in? tell people what city you were in when you took these pictures? >> this is in downtown mobile, alabama. i-165 northbound. >> were there other people on the road? >> there were. there were several other cars that were getting on the interstate at the same time we were. there were two cars that stopped. i don't know if they videoed -- got any of the footage. but we proceeded on up to the saraland exit and got off there on highway 43. we came back southbound towards fairhope to go home. and it was about two to three minutes and that's when we came into pritchard, alabama, where the tornado actually went through and seeing all the devastation in that area. >> how unusual, david, is it for you to see a tornado in december?
>> i've actually never seen a tornado up close and personal like this. i've never in my life. so it was unusual altogether to even see a tornado in this area for me. >> i don't know about you -- i don't think i would have kept my head on to take pictures of it. and i do this for a living. i admire your internal fortitude. >> yeah. if it weren't for my wife sitting in the passenger seat, i don't think it would have happened either. but when the storm seemed as though it was getting fairly close, she cut the camera off and she began to get emotional and worried and everything. and that's why the footage is so short because we kind of noticed that it was getting too close for comfort, i guess you could say. >> we're glad it's short and we're glad you're safe. david, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your experience this morning. wow. today's talkback question, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood?
now's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. the question for you this morning, the do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood? it's a case of, if you don't out me, then i'll out you. there's a backlash against the newspaper at "the journal news" in new york's hudson valley. the paper published this map showing those with gun permits in two area counties. with a click, you can see the name and address of each person licensed to own a handgun. as the editor of the paper puts it, in the aftermath of the newtown shootings, people are concerned about who owns guns
and how many of them are in their neighborhoods. hundreds of residents were shocked to see their information posted without notification. gun owners are outraged. bloggers are firing back, outing "the journal news" itself, publishing the names and address of its staff. an ex-marine and gun owner said, question, it's as if gun owners are sex offenders and to own a handgun risks exposure as if one is a sex offender. it's in my mind crazy. still, you can easily find out lots of information about your neighbor like how much your neighbor paid for their house or how much in taxes he paid. often you can find out how much money he makes and how old he is, if that i have filed for bankruptcy, been sued or divorced. what's different if finding out if your neighbor owns a gun? facebook.com/carolcnn or you can tweet me. i'll be right back. [ buzzing ]
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just about 30 minutes past the hour, checking our top stories now. app winter storm that dumped up to 9 inches of snow in little rock, arkansas, is now moving east. the arkansas national guard has been called out to provide ambulance support to residents. japan's revolving door f o prime ministers has stopped on shinzo abe. the parliament selected him today as the nation's seventh prime minister in six years. abe assigned the same post in 2007, one year into the job. this time around he faces challenges on reviving the economy and the future of nuclear power. hundreds of americans families wishing to adopt
russian children may have their dreamed bashed. a bill was sent to vladimir putin to stop it. another top story we're following this morning, the tragic shooting of two new york firefighters who were responding to a fire on christmas eve. we're learning more about the man who set that fire to his home, lured the firefighters there and then killed them. but first, we want to focus on the men who were killed. tomasz kaczowka and lieutenant michael chiapperini. both men will be laid to rest today. the lieutenant was just awarded firefighter of the year by his long island town. the other firefighter had only been on the force for about one year. fellow firefighters in western new york are sharing memories of their fallen comrades. angela hong of our cnn affiliate filed this report.
>> reporter: it's the first of many good-byes to come on christmas day. monroe county firefighters gathered to salute 19-year-old tomasz kaczowka as his body was escorted to a funeral home. >> his last actions were leaving this fire station. this was his home. he was here all the time. it was only natural for, after the body was released, that he'd be brought back to where it started. >> reporter: kaczowka and 43-year-old lieutenant mike chiapperini were both firefighters. they were shot christmas eve while responding to a fire. the two men were good friends. >> tomasz wasquiet. he did his job pretty much unnoticed. didn't look for any thanks or anything like that. he just did what needed to be done. chip was -- his personality was such as he could make you laugh in the worst of situations or he'd find something to laugh
about. and he did it naturally. >> reporter: amidst their pain and grief, the firefighters returned to work the next day on christmas. >> we want them to return to a point of normalcy as quickly as possible. obviously it's not going to be quick. and the first few runs that they go out on, quite frankly, they may be looking over their shoulder. but at some point in time, this organization has to get back to what we do. >> reporter: and after 36 hours of filling in for west webster, area fire departments left and west webster pulled in, knowing if needed, they had the support of the community and their brother firefighters. >> that was angela hong from your affiliate wham reporting. we're also learning details about the gunman, william spengler. police say the 62-year-old convicted killer set fire to his sister's house and then shot the responding firefighters. police also think he killed his sister.
her body was found in the burned home. spengler did leave behind a suicide note which read in part, i still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood i can burn down and do what i like doing best, killing people. but as far as why he did it, police say they may never know. >> just to clarify, there was no motive in the note. it did not speak to motive. there were some rambling in there was intelligence information we obtained that investigators need to follow up on. it spoke mainly that he intended to burn his neighborhood down and kill as many people as possible before stopping. but as far as motive, all kinds of speculation. truthfully, we do not know. >> two other firefighters also wounded in the attack. they're recovering after surgery at a local hospital. joining me now for more on this bizarre case, cnn legal contributor and civil rights and law professor avery friedman.
morning, avery. >> good morning, carol. >> i think the thing that stands out for most people is that this man was convicted of murder for killing his grandmother who was 92 years old. apparently he beat her to death and he was on parole. he only served 17 years. how is that possible? >> yeah, it seems impossible to happen. but if you study this, spengler was in his late 20s when he committed this murder. and one would expect that he would have spent the rest of his life in the new york penal system. the fact is, though, that he was paroled out and actually had an obligation to report to his parole officer until this happened. but the fact is that it struck me as virtually impossible for the parole department not to know that this guy was a problem. the fact that he committed this murder -- again, even though he was in his 20s, unless he was a model person in the penitentiary, it would seem
pretty obvious that there was a problem with this guy and of course the worst happened here. and we will never know, although we do tend to think that because of the hatred he had toward his sister, that was the motivation. and then set the building on fire in order to cover up the murder of his sister. >> perhaps. he's been on parole since 1998. police say at this point, he lived a quiet life. they didn't have any problems with him. would he still be required to visit his parole officer even after all that time and would the parole officer know there were guns in the sister's house? >> well, remember, parole officers -- i'm a former probation officer actually. we commonly went into properties without notice to do inspections. whether or not this happened, we don't know. but this guy had a bushmaster, a .23 caliber smith & wesson and i think he had a shotgun, too. convicted felons are not allowed to have weapons. whether or not that was done, we'll find out.
but i think the parole officer probably was assuming this guy was not going to be any problems. and perhaps the sort of inspections that would have been necessary didn't happen here. we're going to find out. but we don't know right now. >> as a former probation officer, many times people are let out of prison and they don't get psychological help anymore or they can't find a job. and we don't know the background of this man obviously. but could paul of this come into play here? by the note, this man was not in his right mind. >> yeah, yeah. i think -- there were some interviews of neighbors and friends, carol, and there were real questions about what was going on within the family between the siblings and the mother. he lost his mother about a month and a half ago. and that allegedly set him off the edge. but whether or not it's mental illness -- if someone like this, like spengler, isn't being monitored, carol, then you're inviting the potential of something like this.
no one could reasonably expect to see it. but the signs were there. and as this thing is delved into in more depth, we're going to find out some answers we don't know right now. >> hopefully. it's so difficult to understand things even if we do find out the answers. avery friedman, thanks so much for joining us this morning. more than 7,000 customers still in the dark after a tornado ripped through mobile, alabama. we'll take you there live. hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
maybe the day after christmas. but the big story of the country is all about the weather, severe weather that brought several inches of snow to arkansas and indiana, closing highways and snapping power lines. in louisiana, this waterspout was caught on camera forcing bridge closures in the area. the mid-atlantic expected to get intense storms with strong winds, rain and possibly snow. heavy snow is expected from ohio to new york as blizzard warnings are in effect through much of the night. so let's head to mobile, alabama, where officials say a tornado touched down in five different areas, ripping off roofs, shattering windows. luckily, no serious injuries have been reported but there is damage. joining me now is christina leavenworth from our affiliate
wear. what's it like there, christina? >> reporter: the damage is pretty extensive and widespread for the most part. it touched down in five different spots. one area here at murphy high school, it may look bad right now. but i promise you, it looks a whole lot better than it did earlier this morning. clean-up crews jumped to clean it up immediately. they've made a lot of headway. i want to show you a little bit of the damage that we've seen. this football pad right here came from two football fields away. it blew that far. it was from the fieldhouse that's been completely decimated. portable classrooms also completely decimated. you're seeing sticks and splinters, they're completely gone. glass out of windows as well as the tiles of the roof. they're seeing a lot of that. the fieldhouse, the baseball field, gone. along with those portable classrooms. the roof literally picked up and moved. and you can see the sky out of that now. the athletic facility missing a lot of windows. a whole lot of damage here.
i was speaking to some teachers who were walking up, looking at their classrooms with tears in their eyes, just talking about the history of this place. it was built back in the 1920s. there's beautiful magnolia trees on campus that are decades old. and the massive tornado snapped them into two. due to the fact there were no injury, no one killed, everyone is just grateful that this did not happen when school was actually in session. >> you're not kidding. christina leavenworth, from our affiliate in mobile, alabama. now to indiana where they're dealing with heavy snow and blizzard warnings. this is a live look from indianapolis. yvonne mann from our affiliate there as more on the conditions now. >> reporter: the whiteout conditions, you can see how white it is. you can barely see a mile ahead of you. it really has picked up in the last half hour. you can see cars are trying to go steady here.
they are slowing down and putting those brakes on. but you can see just how much this wind is picking up the snow and really making things -- visibility a big, big factor on the roads. so definitely slow ndown if you are trying to head out. if you aren't heading out, may be best to stay inside. the snow trucks and the plows are out there. but this wind is going to continue to make these visibility conditions and the whiteout conditions a lot worse. take a look at the snow right now. i want to show you the ground here. we've picked up a couple more inches here. this is probably about 3 to 4 inches right now on the ground. about two hours, it was just bare pavement. we're really starting to see things pick up. the wind is really hitting at our face right now. as much as we can tell you how things are going here, trying to stay inside is probably the best piece of advice i can give you. >> that was one frozen yvonne man from our affiliate wxin.
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biggest car title name from general motors. alison kosik has more. >> reporter: it looks like there's been this rebound in car sales in the united states for toyota. gains coming from lexus and camry models. a lot of this may have to do with pent-up demand. during the recession and when gas prices have been very high, americans held back from buying more cars and more toyotas. but this is nothing new between gm and toyota. this has been a running theme with them. they've been neck and neck for years. toyota lost the top spot to gm in 2011. in part because of the earthquake and the tsunami in japan. now toyota is closer to reclaiming the title as the world's biggest carmaker. and this is really notable because toyota's had lots of problems, numerous recalls, it's paid millions of dollars in fines for safety recalls and safety issues. it even had a boycott by some chinese buyers over a territorial dispute. now it looks like its worldwide
sales are expected to hit 9.7 million. and gm is a bit behind, on track to sell around 9.3 million cars around the world this year. interestingly enough, though, gm was really going strong for most of this year. and for some reason, as it approaches the finish line, it's fallen behind toyota. so it looks like toyota's going to go ahead and get that top spot. >> alison kosik reporting live from the new york stock exchange. 46 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories. president obama leaving hawaii today to go back to washington for a last-ditch effort to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. senate and house expected to reconvene tomorrow. as you know, we have just six days left before across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts take effect. former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital. his wife, barbara, and other relatives at his side. the 88-year-old has been in the hospital for more than a month with a lingering cough. he recently had a low-grade fever. doctors remain cautiously
optimistic about a full recovery. a privacy breach in the facebook family. mark zuckerberg's sister says a family photo she posted on facebook was reposted by another woman on twitter. randy zuckerberg called that woman out. the woman said she thought it was public because it was in her facebook news feed. in china, the world's longest high-speed rail train opens. 1,500 miles in eight hours on the train. the tickets are expensive starting at $138. many travelers say it's still cheaper and faster to fly.
tuf the right to know if your neighbor owns a gun? a newspaper in new york state says, yes. it's posted a map with the names and addresses of people who have gun permits in two new york counties. you can see the map here. each red dot represents a person who have a gun permit in westchester and rockland counties, just outside of new york city. people whose names were posted on that site, they're not very happy. we did reach out for a statement from the newspaper. it told us, quote, the massacre in newtown, connecticut, remains at top of mind for many of our readers. our readers are understandably and keenly interested to know about who owns guns in their
neighborhoods. last hour, i talked with jonathan lowey from the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. here's what he had to say about the paper's decision. >> i think this shows a lack of judgment by the newspaper. and i think that we should not be stigmatizing every law-abiding gun owner out there. and i think that particularly after newtown, let's engage in a conversation about sensible policies that gun owners, including probably many of these people whose names were printed in the paper, and most americans agree on, like background checks for all gun sales and getting military-style assault weapons off the streets and other sensible policies. >> the interesting thing about this, apparently these gun permits are for handguns only because you can't find out who owns, let's say, a semiautomatic assault rifle. those things aren't made public. why is that? >> well, that is a serious problem.
the gun lobby has exerted its pressure to keep a lot of very important crime gun data secret. for example, there are restrictions which now prevent us from finding out which gun dealers supply most criminals, which was a very useful tool and helped targeting those bad apple gun dealers. the gun lobby shut it down with its friends in congress which just protects corrupt gun dealers and actually most law-abiding gun dealers would like to expose those bad ones. >> so you don't think it's okay to publish the names of people with permits to own handguns. but is it okay, then, in your mind to publish the names of people who own more heavy-duty weapons? >> i just think it's focused on the wrong thing here. there are a lot of sensible
reforms that we can do. i don't think this sort of public exposure is the right path. and i really think we need to look for ways where gun owners and non-gun owners agree. and there are many things that we can do. i do think that the media needs to be able to get data, for example -- florida exposed the fact that over 1,400 people pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies yet were issued concealed carry permits in florida. that was very important. the gun lobby's response to that was to get the florida legislature to make the names secret so you couldn't do that analysis. that was wrong headed by the legislature. this, i think, was wrong headed by the media. >> we reached out to the nra for a comment on the story. they said they're not familiar
with the story but when they know more, they'll give cnn a comment. we wanted to know what you think about this issue as well. today's talkback question, do you have the right to know who owns a gun in your neighborhood? your responses next. why do toys for tots and hasbro trust duracell to power their donated toys? duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. your doctor will say get smart about your weight.
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nba finals turned out to have similar results. the miami/oklahoma city battle was the biggest of five presents the nba gave the fans on christmas day. the game came down to the final seconds. kevin durant brings oklahoma city to within one point. but lebron james finds chris bosh under the basket and bosh makes the easy two. the heat remain at the top of the nba east with the knicks. the knicks are trying to keep pace, taking on the lakers in l.a. carmelo anthony's three-pointer puts them up in the third quarter. but kobe bryant was solid in crunch time. he finished with 34 points becoming the all-time scoring leader for christmas day games. the lakers win. they win their fifth straight game. virginia tech's football team is honoring the victims of sandy hook elementary school and the university's own 2007 tragedy. players are wearing decals on their helmets with the number 58, those killed in the two shootings plus the initials of the two schools and two of their
colors. a virginia tech cornerback showed his generosity to strangers and took his bowl game present, a $475 best buy gift card and spent it on three kids who happened to be in the store. he just wanted them to have a merry christmas. that's a look at sports this morning. we have your responses on our talkback question, a tot question today. do you have the right to know who owns guns in your neighborhood? this from lavonda. absolutely not. law abiding people are losing their privacy. this from gwen, i'd rather see repeat dui offenders publishes. they actually carelessly present a threat to us and our children. miriam says, right to private si versus right to know. david says, publishing these gun owners' addresses seemed to be designed to shame those of
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