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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

20 More Bodies Brought Up From Flight 8501 Wreckage; Family Members of Flight 8501 Passengers Stay for Identification and Funeral of Their Loved Ones; Pileup on I-93; Winter Storms and Tornadoes for Part of US; Remembering Mario Cuomo; New Documentary about Roger Ebert

Aired January 2, 2015 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Jake Tapper here in Washington. I'm sitting in for Anderson.

It is early morning right now in the stormy dangerous waters off Indonesia. A new day after and especially difficult 24 hours. Despite heavy seas that cut short the search, divers today, brought up 20 more bodies from AirAsia flight 8501. The American destroyer USS Sampson which is taking part in the operation recovered two of those victims bringing the total so far to 30.

Only four have been identified including one flight attendant. She and 161 others took off from Surabaya, Indonesia on Sunday, of course, 132 men, women, and children remain unaccounted for.

They, at some point, will begin the same quiet journey we witnessed today. A military honor guard shouldering the caskets, loading them on aircraft that carried them out of the search zone and back to Surabaya for identification and ultimately to released to the next of kin. A process likely to be repeated again and again in the days ahead.

David Molko is in Surabaya, Indonesia. He joins us now.

David, good to see you. Day five of the search has just begun there. How's the weather? What's the latest?

DAVID MOLKO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jake. Very active search effort at this moment, 100 miles northwest where I am in Surabaya in the Java Sea. The USS Sampson, you mentioned, which has already recovered some human remains is out searching again along with some 40 other ships, choppers, airplanes.

This is a huge international effort. We get the feeling it's all hands on deck at this point. Russia coming in with two planes, a couple dozen divers. South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and the U.S. all involved in this search.

Despite weather and challenging conditions, we're hearing waves of 10 to 14 feet. Searchers seem to be making some progress. We saw images of what looked like part of the window section or a window pane of the airbus A320 come out on Friday. That's a real first look at anything that actually looks like a an aircraft. The priority right now still to recover human remains, 30 bodies recovered so far. Still a ways to go for search officials.

Also, they're looking, they're starting to look underwater and listen underwater for the sound of the black boxes, hopefully to find those which will shed some light on what may have happened aboard the aircraft and also to locate the rest of the wreckage if they're in the same place -- Jake.

TAPPER: David, of the 30 bodies that have been recovered, four of them have been identified. One of them was a flight attendant named Nisa and I believe you spoke with her parents. What did they tell you about her daughter?

MOLKO: That's right, Jake. 22-year-old Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi, Nisa as she was known by her family. I had the chance to talk to her parents before they were identified -- before she was identified in her hotel room. Her two older brothers were there with a couple cousins were there.

And the thing that struck me is the way their faces lit up when they talked about her. We are looking at pictures on her Instagram account and her mother and father were saying, Nisa is so wonderful, what a wonderful daughter. She loved to fly. It was her dream to travel. And even though she had to leave the family home, moved hundreds of miles away across the country, she was living her dream.

Jake, I was with the family when they got the call to come down here to the crisis center in the hospital to ID their daughter. It was definitely a difficult afternoon for them. The remains were handed over a short time later. You know, one thing that struck me about Nisa's father, he said, you know, her eldest brother also wants to be a flight attendant, follow in Nisa's footsteps. And he said, you know, even with what happened now, if he still wants to do it, I would still support it -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, David, Molko in Surabaya, Indonesia. Thank you so much.

As always, stories like these each day brings a new batch of information that builds upon the last until we all hope the true picture of what happened comes into focus, it help make sense of these latest developments.

We're joined now by David Soucie, CNN's safety analyst and author of most recently of "Malaysia airlines flight 370; Why it disappeared and why it's a matter of time before it happens again." Also aviation analyst and private pilot, Miles O'Brien and CNN analyst David Gallo who co-led the search for Air France flight 447.

David Gallo, let me start with you. Thirty bodies, jets fragments and apparent piece of the fuselage have been found. Does that definitely mean that searchers are closer to the location of the main crash site, do you think?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Well, certainly closer than having found nothing, for sure. I mean, these are tangible evidence that there is a plane and a needle in a hay stack. But I feel bad for the family, another minute, another hour, another day, almost spend almost a week is horrible. But yes, closer and a smaller search area thanks to what they found so far.

TAPPER: David Soucie, obviously, the severe weather conditions are hampering the search. High winds, monsoon season, heavy rains and very large waves. Is this going to prevent them from finding the main body of the plane? How big a problem is this for the searchers?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, it's a huge problem. Did you see today, excuse me, one of the divers went out to try to get into the water and said he wasn't even able to get into the water. They want to resume the underwater search hoping they can keep that going while the waves as high. But even that wasn't successful. So it's very, very -- it's hampering the search. In the meantime, the debris is drifting. It's going to be incredibly difficult and we are looking at quite a bit of time here, I believe.

TAPPER: Just specifically, David Soucie, tell me what exactly it is that hampers the search. I've gone diving when waves are very, very difficult. I know that makes it physically impossible for somebody like me who's an experienced diver, although not an expert, to even get underwater. What are the types of problems that they're encountering?

SOUCIE: Well, the underwater search, I'm not a diver, so I can't really tell you what's going on under the water, but what I can address is what's happening on top of the water with that debris. The wind, the waves, every time it's over, anytime that the evidence rolls, it can damage it and all those are clues that we can use to try to determine what exactly happened on the aircraft, should we not be able to find the black boxes, this might be the only answers we have as to what happened.

TAPPER: Miles, the evidence that has been recovered so far and obviously grateful anything was recovered given recent precedent, what does it tell you about what might have happened to this plane?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, you know, it's difficult to say for certain, but because we're seeing pieces of the aircraft, did it break up on impact or did it break up on the way down or was there a little bit of both? I think much of the evidence that we've seen so far is an aircraft that encountered a tremendous upset near a thunderstorm. Did that lead to an aerodynamic stall and a spin down to the surface and that breaks up the craft or was it such a tremendous upset that pieces of it broke off? In a sense, it's probably the answer is yes to both. And so, again, actually the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder will shed an awful lot of light on this.

TAPPER: David Gallo, based on your experience with Air France, which a lot of experts are comparing to this flight, how does where what has been found so far in this flight for in particular flight, how does it compare with air France? GALLO: Right. In Air France, it was about five days after the

initial tragedy that debris was found, but, you know, there was thousands of items picked up. And I think from the surface, 50 bodies. But from the plane bits, we were able to tell a bit about what happened to the aircraft. We knew everything aft behind the wings was compressed upwards. Everything forward of the wings was pretty much intact, so it looked like the plane, it was a tail strike of the plane and the medical examiner said most of the bodies, the deaths were due to vertical compression of the spine. So we knew that the plane has come down with a tremendous vertical force. But we didn't know exactly what happened until the black boxes. So it took waiting some months, years, until we could recover those black and recover those to get the full story.

TAPPER: So just to refresh people's memory, Air France, that was in 1996?

GALLO: 2009.

TAPPER: 2009, I'm sorry. I was thinking about a different -- you know, I'm thinking about the TWA flight. OK. So in 2009, and 50 bodies were found initially and then the others were all found underwater?

GALLO: Fifty at the surface and I believe 100 at the ocean death, almost two-and-a-half miles and then 70, I think, still on the common tore.

TAPPER: And then literally years and saw the black boxes are found.

David Soucie, do you believe there's a chance that the plane could have still been generally intact when it hit the water?

SOUCIE: You know, it's still up for debate. But I have some clues that I've spoken about that would indicate that to me. The dispute is whether or not it was a recoverable stall. There's reports of it going 24,000 feet per minute in a descent. And whether that's recoverable or not, whether there should have been a Mayday call, a lot of unanswered questions.

But from the debris pattern that we're seeing here and the way that, for specific parts are located, I'm thinking there was at the very least an attempted recovery, almost a recovery and at that point, the aircraft did break in to pieces and was unsuccessful ditching. But I do think there was an attempt to make this airplane a survivable accident.

TAPPER: But Miles, just based on the fact that there was not a Mayday call, that leads many experts to believe this had to have been sudden and catastrophic.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I think it's very telling, this idea that they were somehow able to glide it down and ditch it like Sully did in the Hudson River a few years ago, I think is wrong. I mean, if you just look at that scenario right after he took off at very relatively low altitude at about 4,000 feet, he was able to offer, you know, a fairly compelling narrative on the radio as he went down to the river. So you can imagine at 32,000 feet, even if they were going down at 50,000 feet per minute, that's two minutes time. And if they're able to control the aircraft, they're able to push the button on the side stick and issue a may day call.

So now, that doesn't dispute what David said. David, I'm sure they were struggling to control the aircraft. There's no question. And I think there's a good likelihood it was largely intact when it hit the water, as was Air France 447. So, you know, it's kind of, there might be a difference about the distinction here in some respects.

GALLO: There was no mayday there in 447 either. They were completely preoccupied in the cockpit was trying to understand what was going on.

TAPPER: All right, David, Miles, David, stay with us. We are going to talk more shortly. I want to dig this a little deeper in to just how much can be learned from the black boxes if they are recovered. First though, the technology that it takes to find the black boxes, Miguel Marquez has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The search for AirAsia 8501 narrowing, the hand on for a tiny signal in a turbulent sea. My new pings from the device attached to the flight data recorder. A pinger has a specific pulse. It has -- it comes at a specific interval and its specific frequency.

PAUL GINSBURG, FORENSIC AUDIO EXPERT: Correct.

MARQUEZ: But still hard to find.

GINSBURG: Yes, it is.

MARQUEZ: Forensic audio expert Paul Ginsburg has simulated what a pinger would sound like undistorted and without any competing sounds. But says Ginsburg, there is plenty competing for attention at the bottom of the sea.

GINSBURG: A school of fish swimming, currents, echoes from the signal bouncing off different rock formations at the bottom.

MARQUEZ: This signal, he said, is what an experienced operator might initially hear.

GINSBURG: Just as when you're listening to a radio station that's out of your range.

MARQUEZ: Ginsburg says because the pings come at regular intervals and at known frequency, once they have it, an experienced audio technician can clean it up to hear this. We asked Ginsburg to show how it's done.

We went to a test when we record ourselves on this while this very annoying tone is playing.

When he hears it back, and here is what he has to work with.

GINSBURG: In this case, I will attempt to get rid of the tone.

MARQUEZ: Ginsburg analyzes the recording's spectrum, sees the offending tone and using his own software is able to zero in on it and remove the excess noise.

GINSBURG: In this case, I will attempt to get rid of this tone.

MARQUEZ: This job, easy, one noise, and he knew just what it was and where it was coming from, cutting through the many noises and distortions in the Java Sea is now the consuming mission of search groups on sea.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: We have got much more on the search ahead tonight including a look at why even finding the black boxes might not provide all the answers.

And later, we'll show where truly nightmarish weather is already causing chaos and could send your weekend travel plans sliding right into a ditch.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper.

Weather once again hampering searches in the Java Sea as they try to locate major pieces of the airbus 320 that went down with 162 on board earlier this week.

We talked about before the break about the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, specifically, about the searches for them. However, even if those recorders are located, they might not provide as much information as you might think.

More on that possibility from Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a sound of a pilot in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swissair on-eleven is declaring emergency. Eleven on heavy, we starting now. We have to land immediate.

KAYE: That was the pilot of pilot of Swiss air flight 111 talking to air traffic control just minutes before he crashed into the Atlantic ocean in 1998. Everyone on board was killed. When crash investigators found the plane's black boxes at the bottom of the ocean, they were stunned.

LARRY VANCE, DEPUTY CRASH INVESTIGATOR, SWISSAIR FLIGHT 111: Both the recorders stopped recording about six minutes before the aircraft actually hit the water.

KAYE: Leaving investigators to wonder why they suddenly lost control of the plane. It was a fire they later found in the jet's entertainment system which also caused the black boxes to fail. But it took putting the plane back together, all two million pieces of it, to figure that out.

Bottom line, the so-called black boxes aren't perfect and they're not black either. They're usually orange. On an airplane, they're tucked inside an insulated case and surrounded by stainless steel. They're built to withstand temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and catastrophic impact.

After TWA flight 800 went down in July 1996, just 12 minutes after takeoff from New York's JFK airport, the plane's black boxes were recovered but they offered little.

PETER GOELZ, FORMER NTSB MANAGING DIRECTOR: Both the voice recorder and the data recorder terminated their operation within a nanosecond of each other when the explosion took place.

KAYE: Still, despite all the conspiracy theories, investigators say they figured out an explosion in the fuel tank caused the crash and shut down the recorders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indianapolis center, did you get a hold of American 77 by chance?

KAYE: On 9/11, 64 people died on board American airlines flight 77 when it slammed into the Pentagon. Fire crews spent days trying to put out the flames. The two black boxes were found in the wreckage, but the cockpit voice recorder was too charred to offer anything of value.

GOELZ: It flew in with such force and the fire was so intense, that nothing could have survived that impact.

KAYE: Indonesian officials say they hope to recover the black boxes of air flight 8501 within a week, hoping this discovery will give them the crucial information they need to figure out exactly what happened.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Let's talk about this with our panel, David Soucie, Miles O'Brien and David Gallo.

David Gallo, let me start with you. We talked about the weather. Obviously, that is a problem in and of itself, but there are also other problems with the search going on, including the fact that this area is very well-trafficked and there are a lot of cargo ships in the waters. Explain how that affects the search for the black boxes.

GALLO: That's right. One of the things we learned, especially from MH-370 was that when they, you know, when they thought they were listening to pings from the black box, they may have been hearing noise from their own shipper or from nearby ships or from maybe shark tagging.

I took a quick glimpse at the traffic in the area today on where the search is going on and I counted dozens of cargo ships and tankers traversing through the area, just commercial ships and that puts a lot of sound in the water making things a lot more difficult, as does rough weather put sound in the water. So they really do need quiet as best as they can get it to be efficient at locating the black boxes.

TAPPER: David Soucie, obviously, the shallowness of the Java Sea certainly gave people confidence that the black boxes and the wreckage would be able to be found as opposed to with flight 370, Malaysia air.

But this is a 2,000 square mile search area. It's bad weather. Rescuers are going getting a few hours of search time a day. There's only a few weeks of battery light left in the black boxes. How realistic is it that the black boxes will be found?

SOUCIE: Well, in flight 447 as David Gallo could attest, the flight recorder boxes, the pingers didn't function, yet those boxes were retrieved visually. And so, that's still a possibility. But to put the 100 feet of water depth into perspective, if the aircraft was tilted up on its side, the width of the wing is about 100 and some feet. So it's really not as deep as you might think. And I think that this is a very discoverable aircraft. I think it is just matter of waiting until there are some good surface water, some good time to settle things down out there. And they will find them. It is just going to be a matter of time, again, due to the weather.

TAPPER: And we were talking earlier and today, David Soucie, it is not just one day of good weather. They need a few good days of good weather.

SOUCIE: Exactly. That has to settle out there and then they have to have the quiet come in, as Dave was referring to earlier as well, to be able to hear it. It's really got to have some settling time in that ITCZ, I'm not sure how long they have to wait for that.

TAPPER: Miles, as we heard in Randi Kaye's piece a few minutes ago, there's a chance if the black boxes are found, it still might not tell us what happened to bring the plane down.

O'BRIEN: Yes. But I think, you know, once they're recovered, they're designed to withstand the impact and the airbus of this vintage is equipped with many, many streams of captured telemetry of what every aspect of the machine was doing as well as what was going on in the cockpit with the voice recorders. So I'm fairly optimistic that when they're found, we are going to get some answers.

But it is extraordinary to me, you know, why are we relying on these pingers after all these years, with all the technology we have? We know when Air France 447, they searched right over the wreckage in the time frame when the pingers should have been working and they heard nothing. So we think they failed as David Soucie pointed out. Obviously, the pinger is doing no good with MH 370. And in this case, we have -- you don't have black boxes yet. So we have to figure out a way to get some of this information, some of this telemetry in the cloud when there is trouble on an aircraft. We shouldn't have to do this.

TAPPER: And David Gallo, once the fuselage is found, is that it? They can find the black boxes immediately?

GALLO: Well, in the case of Air France 447, I think we took 150,000 still images and made one, a bird's-eye mosaic for the investigative, the accident investigation team, so they could hen direct recovery operations using an honest to goodness visual map.

And so, they may choose to do that, they made choose to start recovering, number one thing, of course, will be to contemporaneous with bringing up the black box, will be recovering bodies. So there won't be a lot of things that go into play if they find a major portion of the fuselage.

TAPPER: So let's be optimistic.

David Soucie, assume they find the black boxes, assume they find them soon, what's the first piece of information you want to learn from the recorders?

SOUCIE: Well, the first thing you want to do is to line the cockpit voice recorder with the FDR data so that everything that paints the full picture, one without the other isn't nearly as helpful. So the first thing you look for.

The second thing you would look for is the cabin altitude versus the outside air altitude of the aircraft. That's something that would indicate whether or not there was a pressure breach in the cabin and you could follow that all the way down to determine what the descent was and at what point there was a breach if there was a breach.

So there's several pieces of information. It really is a whole picture. It takes all of these riddles. It allows you to get some very sequential type of information and then put it together and then that paints the whole picture. So there's not one specific thing. It's the combined information that really gives you the best picture.

TAPPER: Miles, when you talk about how the world is still relying on pingers, you know, I hear you. And I'm with you on your preaching. What kind of technology should there be on planes so as to better determine the last known position?

O'BRIEN: Well, the technology exists and it's been adopted by a few airlines and basically, the idea is to take the information which is being fed into the black box, and when something goes wrong on the airplane, it starts sending a signal either by satellite or to the ground to the operations center saying, hey, there's trouble on this aircraft. You should start paying attention. This can happen automatically. It can happen at the command of the crew with the panic button, or in a situation where an aircraft is non-responsive, the ground operations team can actually command this sort of telemetry to start feeding. You know, everybody says, well, telemetry is too expensive and there's

too much data. I don't think anybody is suggesting we need black box telemetry from every signal for every routine flight. It's when things go wrong, we have the capability. The technology is there and it's just a matter of money to do it and the airlines don't want to spend it.

TAPPER: Miles O'Brien, David Soucie, David Gallo, thank you all.

Just ahead, nearly a third of the passengers aboard the flight belonged to the same Christian faith. Gary Tuchman will speak with the pastor to the congregation that is looking for answers next.

Plus, the United States hits North Korea with new sanctions after the Sony hacking scandal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: More now on air is of flight 8501 Of the 162 people on board, nearly a third share the same faith. 46 members of the same Christian denomination. Gary Tuchman has more on that and he joins us now from Surabaya, Indonesia. Gary, I know you've been talking to many of the families. How are they doing, how are they holding up?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, it's very difficult because although the weather has been bad, these families are thinking and a lot of them are saying to me, the water is not that deep. Why can't they recover my loved one's body yet? Only a total of 30 bodies have been recovered, which means there're 132 people who are still missing. Now, at the Surabaya police headquarters, the reason we are here is we're right next door to the hospital where bodies are being identified and so are the families. They're here. This is a tent that's been put up for the families. This sign in Indonesian says Keluarga (ph), it's a family's and (INAUDIBLE) waiting room. It's a family waiting room. I want to give you a look inside.

And you see, right now, it's not filled up and I'll tell you why in a minute. There're table and chairs here, TV so that they can watch the news, but the reason it's not filled up as - with while the search was - this room was flooded for the last couple of days. So, it flooded out, families went home, they've now put carpeting down on a raised floor. So, it won't (INAUDIBLE) anymore. The families are expected to come back in about a half hour. But across from there is the news media center. It's a weird juxtaposition. You have news media, here are the families, but we have an unwritten agreement not to bother these families, talk to these families.

However, the church congregation let us into a service yesterday and this is an extraordinarily sad story. This is a predominantly Muslim nation, Indonesia, yet on this plane were 46 members of the small protestant denomination here in Indonesia. So there were roughly 30 percent of the passengers on the plane. They have the service, asking for comfort, none of them have yet gotten any word about their loved ones. The day before, we were invited to the home of the captain. Captain Iriyanto. His full name is Iriyanto. Many Indonesians only have one name, no last name. Captain Iriyanto has a wife, has a 24- year old daughter who turns 25 this week. A seven-year-old son. Two elderly parents. Others mourners were at their house. They allowed us inside. We sat on the floor with them and the wife and the daughter describe their husband and father as a kind, compassionate, wonderful man and father. They also had friends there who were also pilots for different airlines and they said he also was a wonderful pilot. It's extraordinarily sad. People were seeking comfort being with each other but right now, this family of this pilot and also the other families of the 162 people aboard this plane are suffering very much. Jake, back to you.

TAPPER: Gary Tuchman, thank you so much. Joining me now is Mary Schiavo. She is former inspector general of the Transportation Department, and currently she's an attorney who represents victims and their families suffering after airplane, car, and other accidents. Mary, thanks for joining us. As more bodies are recovered and identified, what are the next few weeks and months going to look like for these poor families?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL U.S.DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, there's kind of three general areas and things that they have to deal with. First, it's the emotional side. And it's just - it's an unbelievable shock. It's a grief and posttraumatic stress disorder for many of them will last their whole lives. And we throw around the word "closure," but to the families who are going through this, there's no such thing as closure. In fact, many of them told me they don't like the word at all because while they never get closure, they just learn to live with their new identity or without a crash victim family. And so, that's very hard on them. On the other front, they have a lot to do. The investigators will be asking them for identification, photos, DNA samples if necessary, dental records. They'll have to make decisions on logistics for the remains for the burial, for the services, et cetera. And so, that part is very busy. And then after that subsides, then some - some things that just people - just have no way of knowing this is coming, up about day 30 or 45, the airline care teams will go away and they'll be supplanted by the insurance lawyers, and not the same kind of loving support that they've had from the carrier. They will have to deal with issues called unassociated effects to look through a book of items, to see if it belonged to their loved ones and finally at some point, they want to plan a memorial and that's something that they should do and they should take control of.

TAPPER: What do you make of how the airline, AirAsia, has been handling this? From this distance, it seems leaps and bounds better than Malaysia Airlines handled the disappearance of flight MH-370 earlier this last year.

SCHIAVO: Absolutely. And I've worked crashes, you know, all over the world. And in many places, there are no laws. In the United States, there're laws specified what you must do, what the airline must do for a crash family. And this airline seems to be doing all of those things without the requirement of the law that they do it. Now, it's going to be very important for them to provide financial support, especially right now. I mean, get these families through the funerals, give them whatever they need for the memorials, for their travel. They can worry about the balance sheet later and that's very important but they do seem to be doing those kinds of things for the families.

TAPPER: While we're talking about the victims of MH 370 from last year, what's the status on them? Have they received any briefings from the government?

SCHIAVO: No, and it's really heartbreaking and a lot of them reached out to me. They relied on CNN for a lot of their news and at some point, CNN was blacked out in China. They - it was censored. So the briefings from the government have stopped, of course, the briefings from the airline have stopped. Many of them have received no compensation. They were told by the government what they were to do and at this point, they're just in limbo. It's very sad.

TAPPER: Very sad. Mary Schiavo, thank you so much.

Up next, bad weather here blamed for a massive pile up on a New England interstate. We'll show you where it's expected much more potentially deadly weather. Also, remembering former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Getting home this weekend after the holidays could be tough for millions of Americans. Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and tornadoes, heavy snow and ice will cause trouble east of the Rockies, even before that onslaught, there was this? A sudden snowstorm, a sudden one. And a 35 vehicle pile-up this morning on Interstate 93 in New Hampshire. The highway was shut down for several hours and reopened this afternoon. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us from the CNN Weather Center. Derek, what type of problems could travelers be facing this weekend?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, Jake, it already appears that you and I are dressed for the winter weather that's coming, but travelers are already experiencing the icy conditions across the Texas panhandle as well as the south-eastern sections of New Mexico. In fact, winter storm warnings where you see that shading of pink, winter weather advisories right through Wichita, Kansas. We are also monitoring for Saturday night into Sunday, the possibility of a rain/snow mix.

We have winter weather advisory for much of the northern half of the Great Lakes. Look at the storm system coming through, point at a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. As you mentioned, we do have the possibility of severe weather across parts of Mississippi and Alabama. Behind it, cold air starting to filter in and the possibility of snow showers. What I want you to take note of is that this will be a mainly rainmaker along the mega metropolises along the East Coast. I'm talking New York City, the nation's capital and mainly for Boston, some snow just north of that. But look at the rainfall totals from Atlanta where the CNN world headquarters is located and New Orleans. We're talking two to four inches of rain when it's all said and done by Sunday and Monday. Temperatures, well cooling down from a northern Great Lakes mild along the East Coast to end off the weekend, but the cold weather is headed your way, New York.

TAPPER: And Derek, did I hear it right, the southeast of the country might even see some tornadoes?

VAN DAM: Yeah, that's right. We actually have around 3.7 million people in the possibility of a slight risk of severe weather. That would be large hail, strong winds and we cannot rule out the possibility of a tornado as well. We've highlighted that area with this shading of yellow, again, across much of Mississippi and into Alabama. But on the flip side, Jake, I just want to note that we do have the possibility of seeing the aurora borealis this weekend. Saturday night if you're lucky enough to see some clearing in the skies, Seattle to Chicago, should be pretty nice.

TAPPER: All right, Derek Van Dam, thank you so much.

Let's get the latest on some other stories we are following. Deborah Feyerick has a "360 Bulletin." Deb.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the U.S. is hitting North Korea with new economic sanctions, citing what it calls destructive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures entertainment. The s studio was forced to have a limited release of the controversial movie "The Interview" because of the attack. North Korea denies any ties to the hacking.

Jury selection will begin in Boston Monday in the trial of marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His defense team's request for a change of venue has been denied. Three people were killed, more than 260 others injured in the blast in April of 2013.

And U2 frontman Bono fears he may never play the guitar again. The confession coming in a New Year's Day posting on the band's website. Bono suffered extensive injuries in a bicycle accident in November.

And three term New York Governor Mario Cuomo is being remembered as a political giant. The Democrat who served the state from 1983 to 1995 died last night of heart failure just hours after his son Andrew was sworn in for his second term as New York governor. The senior Cuomo is perhaps best known for his passionate keynote speech on equality at the 1984 Democratic National Convention when he shared lessons he learned from his Italian immigrant father, a grocer in New York City.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO CUOMO: I watched a small man with thick calluses on both his hands work 15 and 16 hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottom of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone. Unable to speak the language who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example. I learned about our kind of democracy from my father and I learned about our obligation to each other from him and my mother. They ask only for a chance to work and to make the world better for their children.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Mario Cuomo died last night at the age of 82. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper. This Sunday night CNN will premiere a rather compelling documentary about an extraordinary man. "Life Itself" explores the impact of film critic Roger Ebert based on his memoirs of the same name. Filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Roger and his wife Chaz during what would be the last four months of his life as he battled the cancer that had left him without the lower part of his jaw. Anderson spoke with Chaz Ebert about her husband, his life and his legacy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The film is just extraordinary. How difficult was it for you and for Roger to allow cameras in because I mean you are documenting everything.

CHAZ EBERT: Anderson, I have to tell you the truth. Had we known that Roger was going to pass away during the making of the film, maybe we wouldn't have allowed it, so I'm glad that we didn't know because what we're left with is this beautiful, rich gift of watching, you know, it's so inspirational to watch him and I love spending two hours with him on the screen.

COOPER: Also, it's so interesting and let me talk about this in the film a little, his willingness to be so open about his illness was in such stark contrast to Gene Siskel, who Roger had no idea about Gene's illness.

CHAZ EBERT: No, he did not. And Roger, you know, and the word I use, and it's true, Roger was devastated when he learned that Gene was dying and that we didn't know and that we thought Gene was going away to recuperate and he said, I never want that to happen, if something like that happens to me, you must tell our family and close friends. I have to say the other thing though, that I understand. You know, Gene and his wife Marlene, each decision like that is so individual and so personal that I understand that for whatever reason, at the time they thought they couldn't tell us, but oh, it really - it did hurt.

COOPER: The relationship between - I mean Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert was, again, you see it in the film. And there's - there's real disdain there.

CHAZ EBERT: In the beginning. Yes.

COOPER: In the beginning.

CHAZ EBERT: Yeah.

COOPER: But it's captures, and, you know, I mean I remember watching him on TV and thinking OK, that a lot of this ...

CHAZ EBERT: You thought that it was made up, right?

COOPER: This is a made up play. But there was real dislike there.

CHAZ EBERT: That, in the beginning, they set for about the first six years, five or six years, that they didn't really talk that much and I know they didn't socialize with each other. And Roger said they essentially, you know, they had to go to the same elevator, to the same screening room and that they would just stand there and look up, and look at the numbers and they wouldn't talk, wouldn't discuss the time of day.

COOPER: For five or six years.

CHAZ EBERT: The weather, the traffic for a long time. Later, of course, they were together for almost 24 years and later, they came to love each other.

COOPER: Obviously, what comes across in the movie, too, is his love of film and his - the importance of film in his life and its - sort of the transformational nature of it.

CHAZ EBERT: You know, one thing that I came to figure out later is that Roger, for Roger, you know, sometimes he'd say, oh, it's only a movie. Well, it wasn't only a movie. Roger saw so many things and he was a very literate smart man and in movies, he saw some of everything. He saw things of literature, he saw Shakespearean tragedies played out on the screen, he saw comedies about life, he saw things about people in other countries, he saw so much. He saw film as a microcosm of life itself.

COOPER: Thank you for sharing with us.

CHAZ EBERT: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for talking to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Tune in this Sunday when CNN Films presents "Life Itself" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Next for us tonight, the moments we'll all remember, but Anderson might like to forget. His annual Times Square adventure with Kathy Griffin right after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: For anyone who indulged a bit on New Year's Eve, the hangover probably lifted sometime last night. I hope so, at least, Anderson on the other hand, well, he barely touches the stuff, but he's still recovering from his annual trip to Times Square and through the ringer with the only Kathy Griffin. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I apologize.

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: I know.

COOPER: I apologize.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: For what she had said, I'm apologizing for what she will say and for what she's wearing.

GRIFFIN: OK, but you clearly made a conscious choice to go, I'm going to take off the Prada, take off the Hugo Boss, I'm going to find ...

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: What do the kids call it? Grunge (ph), and I'm going to put on, and I can just see like ruffling in your hotel room, like rolling around in it and go, oh my gosh, I could be in pearl jam.

COOPER: Wow!

GRIFFIN: Why are you shouting at me? What have I ever done to you ...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Is that - what is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's supposed to touch it first.

GRIFFIN: Oh.

COOPER: All right.

GRIFFIN: My turn.

COOPER: That's like a metal vest.

GRIFFIN: It's beading. It's beading.

COOPER: That's what it is?

GRIFFIN: It's probably been gently beaded. Oh-oh.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: I'm not afraid, Questy.'

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, get away.

GRIFFIN: Questy brings the heat, about 3:00 in the morning, he will be in a ball sobbing being spooned by his mother again because he will not believe that like 3 out of 10 million loving tweets are somewhat negative. He cannot get over it. So, Gloria, get ready. Keep the light on.

COOPER: We are back.

GRIFFIN: Because what's great is that? Anderson is nervous and nauseous and then see the words, he sees those live crab on the teleprompter.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: So, I just want to explain his facial discomfort.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Go ahead.

COOPER: That's what it says on the teleprompter. Live crab.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at this special cake, we had this cake made for you guys. What do you think?

GRIFFIN: That's very special. Tasteful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow!

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But do you like that? Does that bring back memories for you? 36 eggs and it's a rum cake. It is a rum cake, we are going to eat it during this next live shot.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's more eggs than I have right now in my body.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Yeah, well, it's been about two hours of taunting thus far. Only another hour and a half.

GRIFFIN: Game night.

COOPER: Game night. Game night.

GRIFFIN: Game night.

COOPER: Yeah.

GRIFFIN: This is temporary and it shows how fantastic you are. All right, open. Yes!

COOPER: You've got to be kidding me.

GRIFFIN: Yes! Yes!

COOPER: Oh my god. What have you done? I can't --

GRIFFIN: I dyed your hair!

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: I dyed your hair red and blue. And I decided if you argue with me, you don't love America. I had it all planned. This is it. Every year, I try to think of something. I dyed his hair red, white and blue.

COOPER: How am I going to get this out?

GRIFFIN: I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: It's never dull with Kathy Griffin. That does it for us. All week we've been talking about the search for victims of AirAsia Flight 8501. Up next, the CNN film "Sole Survivor" looks at the few times when a commercial airliner has crashed and there has been a lone survivor. These are their stories. Here is "Sole Survivor. "