Chris Cuomo, Michaela Periera and Brooke Baldwin anchor CNN’s live simulcast coverage of the 5-Alarm building fire in New York City. CNN.com continues with live updates and video.
Reporting on scene:
Poppy Harlow @poppyharlowCNN
John Berman @johnberman
Don Lemon @donlemon
Ashleigh Banfield @CNNAshleigh
Maria Santana @MariaSantanaCNN (CNN en Espanol)Authorities respond to massive explosion in East Harlem
In an exclusive interview on New Day, the friend who found actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dead of a drug overdose, David Bar Katz, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that media portrayals have painted an inaccurate picture of the Oscar winner’s death. He told Cuomo, his friend was not in a destructive death-spiral the night he died.
After the actor’s death, the National Enquirer published a false interview with Katz and claimed that the two men were lovers. Katz sued the publication which agreed to a settlement that will be used to for an award to help playwrights. "I always knew they made stuff up, but I never knew they made up even having an interview with someone that they never had, and then the degree of seeing how everyone picks it up and, as you just said, treats it like news," Katz told Cuomo. "I was really stunned by that." FULL POST
In an interview with CNN’s New Day, NJ State Senator Ray Lesniak said that he will call for a federal investigation into Gov. Chris Christie’s administration over allegations that top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams on the country’s busiest bridge last year as part of a political vendetta against the city’s mayor. Sen. Lesniak said “There's certainly reasonable suspicion that criminal acts have been involved here. Not only abuse of governmental power for political purposes, but we have reckless endangerment of people's lives and possibly criminally negligent homicide. Those investigations have to be pursued by the authorities of the U.S. attorney’s office.”
In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day," basketball star Dennis Rodman defended his controversial visit to North Korea with a team of former NBA players, saying it was a "great idea for the world." The trip takes place just weeks after North Korea shocked the world by announcing the purge and execution of Kim Jong-Un’s once-powerful uncle. There are also concerns for the welfare of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, who has been detained for more than a year for unknown crimes.
Rodman and other former NBA players are due to take part in a controversial basketball game on the birthday of Kim Jong-Un. Referring to Kim Jong-Un, Rodman said, "I love my friend. This is my friend." He also pointed out that Kim is only 31 years old. FULL POST
CNN’s coverage of the death and funeral of Nelson Mandela continues, with Christiane Amanpour, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Isha Sesay reporting from locations in South Africa. Correspondents Robyn Curnow, Arwa Damon, Errol Barnett and David McKenzie contribute to the coverage across CNN’s networks and platforms. Gemma Paralleda and Jose Levy contribute to CNN en Espanol’s coverage.
Online, users can go to http://www.cnn.com as well as the CNN Apps for the latest updates, which include articles, photo galleries, interactives and video. Additionally, CNN iReport, the network's global participatory news community, invites users to share their memories, photos and personal stories of the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Links to CNN video:
Join the social media conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #AnUnrealDream
CNN Films: An Unreal Dream – The Michael Morton Story is the harrowing true tale of a many accused and convicted of the brutal murder of his wife in front of their three-year-old son. Morton spent nearly 25 years in the Texas penal system, before being exonerated by a team of lawyers associated with The Innocence Project.
CNN's Chris Cuomo interviewed Michael Morton for New Day. In this preview, Morton describes his ordeal, his pathway to exoneration, and his current mission to help others who are wrongfully accused.
During tonight's telecast, viewers can share their thoughts about the film, and ask questions about the Morton case and other Innocence Project cases via Twitter, by using the hashtag #AnUnrealDream. CNN Films, the filmmakers, attorney Barry Scheck (co-director of The Innocence Project), and others associated with this case and the broader issues it represents, will offer behind-the-scenes commentary and respond to users’ questions about the film and about The Innocence Project.
CNN Films: An Unreal Dream – The Michael Morton Story debuts TONIGHT at 9:00pm, 12:00am,
and 3:00am on CNN. All times Eastern.
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair told CNN that Nelson Mandela’s influence on the peace process in Northern Ireland was “hugely important” and his leadership “made racism seem somehow stupid and old-fashioned and irrelevant” to people in Western countries.
“As a leader, he was just a huge inspiration. I remember when we started our own peace process in Northern Ireland, he was such an example for reconciliation, forgiveness, the ability to put the past behind you,” Prime Minister Blair said. “He was hugely important in all the work we did for Africa and for ushering in a whole new generation of leaders in Africa. But I will also remember him as a man coming and visiting me in Downing Street, and he’d come in the door and after saying hello to myself and my wife, he’d say hello to the people on the door, the people making the tea, the staff members. He had a wonderful way about him. And to be with him, by the way, was enormous fun.” FULL POST
Sir Richard Branson reflected on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy, saying that he had “a wonderful sense of humor” and didn’t want any conflict in the world. He said that Mandela was one flight away from trying to get Saddam Hussein to step down in an effort to prevent the invasion in Iraq. However, bombing started as “the plane was due to leave South Africa.”
Branson said, “The one word I think that sums him up the most is forgiveness. And I think that he would want all of us individually, in our own lives, to pick up the phone today. Talk to somebody that you’ve fallen out with. Invite them to lunch. Embrace them. Life is too short to have any enemies. On the bigger picture, he would have welcomed the talks with Iran. It’s so much better to try to become friends again with nations that you’ve once fallen out with, rather than drop bombs on each other. He was incredibly angry about the invasion of Iraq. I spoke with him before the invasion of Iraq. And actually sent a plane to take him to Iraq to see Saddam Hussein to try to persuade Saddam Hussein to step down. Him and Kofi Anon were going on a secret mission. The day the plane was due to leave South Africa, sadly the bombing started and they never had the chance to try to get Saddam Hussein to step down in the interest of his country and the people. He was trying all the time to try to resolve conflicts, rather than encourage the starting of conflicts to resolve problems.”
CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed Michael Morton in an extended discussion about his wrongful conviction for murder on Wednesday's edition of the program. Morton spent nearly 25 years of his life in the Texas penal system for brutally murdering his wife, Christine, in front of their young son.
Although a team of lawyers, including Houston-based attorney John Raley and several lawyers at The Innocence Project, eventually were able to exonerate him with DNA evidence, his aggressive prosecution and wrongful incarceration robbed him of more than two decades of his life and disrupted his relationship with his son. In addition, while free at large, Christine Morton's true murderer also killed another woman.
Morton described the details of his survival in prison and how he has been able to find grace through his misfortune. Morton now works to secure legal reforms in Texas to help prevent others from being victimized by wrongful prosecutions.
The CNN Films premiere of AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY has screened to extraordinary reviews around the country in film festivals in 2013. The documentary film will debut on television for the first time ever on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 9:00pm Eastern and Pacific on CNN/U.S..