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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 30, 2009 11:00am-1:00pm EST

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photojournalists brought to you this year. tune in this weekend to see the very best of the in focus stories saturday afternoon at 3:00 eastern. i'm heidi collins, "cnn newsroom" continues with tony harris. >> good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, december 30th of 2009. here are the top stories. a trail of missed opportunities, from nigeria to detroit. eight years after 9/11, u.s. agencies aren't communicating about potential terrorists. the iranian regime calling thousands of supporters to the streets. anti-government protesters are told to stay away or expect no mercy. and tears of joy in georgia. a mother reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption 50 years ago. good morning, everyone, i'm tony harris and you are in the "cnn newsroom."
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a new finding this morning about the attempted bombing of northwest flight 253. here's what we know right now. two senior administration officials tell cnn the u.s. military is reviewing targets in yemen, retaliatory strikes could be aimed at al qaeda training camps. bomb suspect umar farouk abdulmutallab was apparently on the cia's radar as far back as august, but sources tell us a report on the nigerian never made it to other u.s. security agencies. president obama calls the communication breakdown a systemic failure. the president says the intelligence plus other information could have kept the suspect off the plane. an official with the african union said a man was arrested after he tried to board a flight from somalia to dubai. he carried potential bomb-making ingredients. he said the incident may be link eged to detroit incident.
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all passengers flying out of amsterdam's schiphol airport to the u.s. will go through a full body scan. it could have detected the explosive powder hidden in the suspect's underwear. >> translator: it takes three weeks to start using these machines. because one-half of the two have to get the required software. and in three weeks 15 scanners will be in use on flights to the states. >> all right. and that is a look at the latest developments in the terror investigation this morning. now let's zero in on yemen. possible retaliatory strikes on al qaeda. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr joining me now. barbara, what are you learning about possible military action? >> reporter: well, you know, tony, let's break it down for people. there have been already this month long before this northwest flight incident a number of
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military operations in yemen. some carried out by thery, somee and targeting information, possibly, possibly even some u.s. weapons provided to go after al qaeda targets. the al qaeda network in yemen has already been in the cross hairs of both countries. but now in light of this incide incident, two senior u.s. officials tell cnn that both countries together, their military and security services are going back, looking at the al qaeda target list inside of yemen, trying to see if they can make a link to this christmas day foiled attack. if they can, they certainly will continue to carry out these strikes that have already been ongoing and they will look for targets that they can hit that were directly linked to this possible attack. tony. >> barbara, any way of knowing how many al qaeda militants are operating or training in yemen? >> right. what exactly is the al qaeda list in yemen. u.s. officials say they think,
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but nobody has a really solid handle on it, that there might be as many as 200 or so al qaeda members inside of yemen around a central core leadership in that country. but the key is the strikes that have already happened, nobody really knows for sure yet whether they have been able to take out that core leadership or whether the leaders have actually scattered and now will even be tougher to track down. there are also a number of al qaeda training camps inside of yemen and there is some concern that this nigerian suspect may indeed have trained at one of those camps, tony. >> one more for you, barbara. the idea of dropping u.s. bombs on another country clearly highly sensitive stuff here. how does the u.s. potentially head down this road and avoid the type of blowback we've seen in pakistan. >> reporter: well, that is really key here. if there are additional strikes, the level of u.s. involvement we are told by very senior
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officials in the obama administration would be directly coordinated with the yemenis. and that's the reason the u.s. has been so quiet about the strikes that have already happened this month. there's essentially a secret agreement with yemen. the u.s. will help, it will help as much as it can, it will press the yemenis to do as much as they can, but washington will remain very quiet about it because it's so sensitive inside of yemen that there would be any u.s. military assistance. so don't expect to see a lot of headlines when and if it happens, tony. >> okay, barbara starr at the pentagon for us. appreciate it, thank you. next hour we will talk more about airport security worldwide. the former security director at israel's tel aviv international airport joins us. to get a better understanding of umar farouk abdulmutallab, christian purfoy traveled to the hometown of the suspected terrorist in nigeria.
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>> reporter: this is the small mosque once attended by umar abdulmutallab, the man who allegedly tried to let off a bomb on board the detroit flight on christmas day. the last time abdulmutallab came here to pray, his neighbors say, was in august this year just before he went to yemen. everyone here is shocked that he is now the center of a global terrorist alert. >> was he devout muslim? >> reporter: he would be the first at prayers and the last to leave, but he didn't mingle. he liked isolation. at the prestigious local school he attended, which does not even teach religion, this son of a wealthy nigerian banker is remembered as well behaved and popular with his classmates.
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>> reporter: so he mixed with children from all backgrounds here. >> yes, yes. >> reporter: christian, muslim. >> that's right. christians, muslims, hindus, other religions because we have other nationals here in nigeria in this school. >> reporter: so you have americans at this school? >> yeah. we have americans. >> reporter: but outside the school there was violence on the streets. the city sits on one of the longest religious fort wines in the world separating a christian africa and a muslim northern africa. in 2000 nearly a thousand people were killed n 2002 thousands were displaced after a miss world competition was to be held here. it was cancelled after tens of mosques and churches were burned. growing up here, abdulmutallab was certainly no stranger to religious violence.
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no one i met publicly supports his actions but he is certainly not alone in his resentment against the west. the west promotes immoral values, says this traitor. it's wrong for the west to support the israelis to kill muslims says another. extremism is not taught here. there is no attempt to justify suicide attacks. abdulmutallab must have learned his radical ideas in his studies abroad, he says. but he warns many similar young men from wealthy families studying in the middle east are often returning with dangerous ideas. there are sects abroad trying to trap and brain wash our children, he says. the question that concerns many there now is whether
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abdulmutallab may not be the last young nigerian to fall prey to radical and violent ideology. >> another major story we're developing and following this hour, government-staged rallies in ern. we'll show you the other side of the story. and jacqui jeras tracking weather. get your -- i always want to walk over here. get your new year's eve forecast from this lady right here. >> hello. >> sorry about that, jacqui. i don't know what to do with that shot. but first here's the latest from the new york stock exchange. we're selling, in a selling mood early. stocks down 13 points. we're following developments throughout the day right here for you in the "cnn newsroom. "
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welcome back to the "cnn newsroom" i'm jacqui jeras. we're going to talk a little
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west coast weather today as we've got a series of storms that are going to be slamming into the west coast the next couple of days making for really lousy travel weather for a whole lot of people. here you can see we zoomed into the salt lake city area where we've got snow coming down. temperatures very cold here. winter weather advisories in effect, expecting to see 2 to 4 inches in the valleys. but you get up into the wasatch range and we'll see much heavier accumulations, somewhere between 12 and 20 inches by tomorrow morning. we also have avalanche advisories in effect here too. a little bit of wet weather that you can see across the southwest and we've got the salt lake city camera? let's take a look at it. there it is. oh, my gosh, you can't even see a thing, can you, with all that nasty weather. so salt lake, certainly take it easy if you're trying to travel out there today. better yet, stay home if you can. we've also got some snowy weather across parts of the great lakes and midwest, wet weather across the gulf coast states. nothing really heavy but this will impact your new year's eve in the northeast. we'll have the forecast on that when i see you again.
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tony is back in the newsroom right after this break.
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happening now on the streets of tehran, more demonstrations. but unlike the ones in previous days, these are government-sponsored rallies. quickly now, let's get to rosemary church who is monitoring the situation from our iran desk. rosemary, what should we make of what's happening in iran today? yes, the government is
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sponsoring this event, which isn't probably the best with a struggling economy, but the truth is there was a pretty huge turnout there. >> reporter: skbeindeed. we have witnessed on sunday the worst violence since the disputed june 12 elections in iran, so this is an effort by the government to counter that. you can see these pictures here. hundreds of thousands of supporters of iran's regime taking to the streets wednesday, this day, in a show of force against the opposition. now, a number of these people were actually bussed in from rural areas and given the day off so that they could attend these rallies. state television showed footage of people swarming downtown. you can see that downtown area, including tehran's square. now, it's important to note not only tehran in actual fact. we mainly hear these protests there. but these pro-government protests also in the south. now, eight people were killed and more than 500 protesters
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arrested following those anti-government protests back on sunday, just three days ago. you know, the police chief has issued a harsh threat. listen to this. i want to read it out. this is directed at anti-government protesters and he says, if we could just bring those words up from him, in dealing with previous protests, police showed leniency, but given that these opponents are seeking to topple the ruling regime, there will be no mercy and he emphasizes that they will crush the protesters. now, we've had new amateur video coming in from sunday's anti-government protests in tehran. have to note here cnn cannot confirm the authenticity of this video. i want to show you this footage. you can see here there's people running. there's a car, there's a group of people here. watch this as a police van rushes over into that crowd. now, actually knocks someone down. then it reverses, as you can see there and another van, another
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police van on the left there then moves in and mows over the top of the body there of somebody lying on the ground. of course i say body but at this point we do not know whether that is a man or woman, whether they are dead or alive. the witnesses then rush in there and have to note here that iran authorities are saying that protesters took control of those police vans and they did this themselves. looking at another piece of amateur video now, we've covered this woman's face in respect for her. a dead woman who apparently was also knocked down by a paramilitary van, and she is being taken there by the witnesses. you're seeing that they're taking her body and putting her into a car to take her to a hospital to try to stop authorities there, iranian authorities getting hold of her remains. and also, tony, worth noting, we were reporting on sunday of course that the nephew of opposition leader mir hossein mousavi had been killed. now he has been buried.
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and so -- we're looking at clothes now from him. we don't know the circumstances at this stage of his death. we know that he was shot, but we don't know what the circumstances are. but we're keeping an eye on that and all the other developments coming out of iran. back to you. >> appreciate it. thank you. more analysis and insight on what's going on in iran right now from jim walsh. jim is an international security expert at mit. jim, it's always great to talk to you. >> good to see you, tony. >> and in washington a leading expert on middle eastern affairs with a special emphasis on iran. he is with the carnegie endowment for international peace. let me start with you. what should we make of what's happening with these protests, these government-sponsored protests, demonstrations today in iran? >> well, tony, when i was based in tehran, i used to attend these government-sponsored protests frequently. when you talked to the demonstrators, they were often,
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as rosemary mentioned, bussed in from the provinces, given the day off of work and given a free lunch. so you compare that to the anti-government protesters who are wander weeks in advance that there are going to be severe repercussions and still hundreds of thousands turn out. so i am very confident, tony, having been based in tehran a couple of years that a majority if not a vast majority of iran want to see a different type of government in tehran. >> jim, are you surprised at all by the turnout? >> no, i'm not. you know, in political science generally protests are not a good indicator of the general support of a government because most people don't protest. it tends to be a small slice of society that engage in protests. i think, though, that this is symbolic of one of the problems that we face in iran. that is to say not everyone hates the government. even though these guys are bussed in, the fact is at least preelection polls show that there's plurality of the people. is it 30%, 40%, 45 that
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supported the government. now, that may have changed given all the violence that's taken place but this is a divided society right now and it's not as if it's 99% against the government. there are some pockets of support for the government as this plays out. >> terrific. let me take that point to karim. you know, i don't want to paint all of these people we see protesting today as sort of mindless automotons. what of the line of thought saying iranians are paying close attention to what's going on in the country and in whatever numbers, large, medium, small, have decided they don't like the approach, the tactics and the arguments put forth by the opposition. what of that line of thought, karim? >> certainly, tony, no country, no population on earth is monolithic. but let's put things in perspective. the iranian population is overwhelmingly young, two-thirds under 33. under mahmoud ahmadinejad tenure
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the economy has severely deteriorated, social freedoms have severely been curtailed, political freedoms have severely been curtailed. there's a difference between being poor and pious and being ignorant. i would say that iranians despite the fact that they're pious, they do still have lorin come classes, that doesn't mean that they're ignorant and don't know what's good for them. >> jim, i think karim just hit on this. isn't the real pressure on this regime economic? don't you gain real transaction on pocketbook issues, even in iran? isn't that the issue to win more support for your movement? >> i think that's right, tony. i would not overstate iran's economic problems. they are looking at 3% growth. it hasn't done as well as its neighbors in the region over this period of time but it hasn't gone down into a hole either. the real economic issues facing iran are going forward. if the price of oil remains modest and there's a lack of investment in iran's oil
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infrastructure, if that continues along with rationing, we're really looking at a problem as iran spends all its hard currency to keep those subsidies going. but right now it's not great, but it's not -- you know, the economy hasn't collapsed either. but looking forward, there will be increasing economic pressure and that will affect the young people the most and they are a majority in iran. >> karim, what does the opposition really want? >> tony, i think even amongst the leadership of the opposition there's a diversity of views. i think individuals mike mir hossein mousavi, they were important pillars of the 1979 revolution and they believe in the idea of an islamic republic. i think the younger protesters, the university students would like to see much more fundamental change, separation of religion and state. and at the moment i think the tactics of the opposition leadership is to take a very deliberate approach, to recruit as many people as possible under the tent of this green movement
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and focus on removing president mahmoud ahmadinejad rather than talk about specifics which may create fissures amongst the opposition themselves. >> let's save it right there. gentlemen, great to talk to you. thank you both. checking our top stories now, the governor of iraq's anbar province fighting for his life this morning after suicide bombings. this is video near the blast site. officials say the governor was targeted by a rogue bodyguard, at least 22 others were killed in the attacks. 57 wounded. a british man held hostage by militants in iraq for more than two years has been freed. officials say peter moore is in good health. moore was captured along with four of his body guards in may of 2007. at least three of the other men are dead. yet another round in the fight over 9-year-old sean goldman. after returning home to his american father last week, his family in brazil now vowing to continue their fight to regain
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custody. a lawyer for sean's father says brazil no longer has jurisdiction since he is now in the united states. so, you've been wondering if you should fire your financial planner. don't do anything until you hear what gerri willis has to say and she's up next. ♪ ♪ that's whp$e i shoulda gone! coulda got my knowledge on! ♪ ♪ vo: free credit score and report with enrollment in triple advantage.
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well, here's a financial resolution for the new year. checkup on your money manager. you don't want a dwraut of the bernie madoff school of investing handling your assets. your personal finance editor gerri willis is here. i like that, good point. >> reporter: right. >> what are the red flags that investors might notice? >> reporter: hi there, tony. yeah, there are telltale signs that your adviser may not have your best interest at heart. if your planner guarantees you big returns on investments, watch out.
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investing is always risky and there's no way to guarantee a particular level of return. as madoff's victims found out way too late, your check should go to a third-party custodian who is holding your funds, not directly to the planner or their company. another sign, you're pressured to buy a specific investment. hey, remember this is your money after all, you have to be comfortable with how it's being put to work. one word of caution here. you know, firing your adviser just because you're not happy with returns in a specific year may be raunwrong-headed. some of the most level headed poet folio managers had terrible performances the last two years. what you want to think about is how adept were they at responding to the crisis. did they duck your phone calls when the market took a dive? that's a sure sign you should get a new adviser. >> well, how do i do this? how do i checkup on my adviser, gerri? >> reporter: you know, that can be tricky. if you're working with a stock broker, call the financial industry regulatory authority.
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now, that agency maintains a database, a central registration directory, a database on brokers that includes disciplinary actions taken against them and lawsuits, so great information there. you can also go to your state securities regulator. they maintain info on brokers' employment history and their education. remember, there are lots of designations for advisers, letters that go after their name. the best ones for regular investors, cfp, certified financial planner, awarred by the cfp board of standards. it's stuff to get. and the national association of personal financial advisers. this is a group of advisers who don't accept commissions for selling investment products but rather work for fees paid by their customers. and of course if you have any questions, send them to me at we love to hear from you. >> good tips as always. the terrorist attempt on flight 253 puts the spotlight on airport full body scanners. that is good news for a small company in southern mississippi. well-informed people are considering chevy malibu.
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new capzasin quick relief gel. (announcer) starts working on contact and at the nerve level. to block pain for hours. new capzasin, takes the pain out of arthritis. let's get you caught up on the flight 253 terror investigation. authorities in africa suspect a link between the attempted bombing of a detroit-bound plane and an incident in somalia. they say a man was arrested last month trying to board a flight with chemicals that could be used as an explosive device. president obama wants a preliminary report on what went wrong by tomorrow. and the airport in amsterdam plans to start using body scanners on passengers flying to the united states. the flight that was targeted was headed from amsterdam to detroit. a mississippi company that makes body scanners has ramped up production big-time. the company is working to meet
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the increased demand for the machines. reporter doug williams of affiliate wlox has a look from jackson county, mississippi. >> reporter: there's a from youry of activity on the production floor. workers are busy building the new body scanning machines. machines that are about to be shipped to tsa. >> we have been tasked to deliver 150 machines between the december and the april time frame. we are on schedule to deliver 40 this month, which will begin deploying in u.s. airports in january. >> reporter: tom oversees the operation at this facility. the plant has recently hired an additional 25 people to meet the demand and they're working 60 hours a week. because of the recent terrorism incident, federal officials are seriously considering placing the $150,000 body scanners in most airports. if that happens -- >> we'll have to double our staff. we'll have to add an additional 25 jobs and go to a second shift of operation.
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>> reporter: even with concerns about airport security and safety, the body scanning technology issue is not without controversy. >> there have been some privacy concerns raised with the use of these machines, but what better way to disspell some of those concerns than to take the test myself. i step into the scanner for the 15-second test. when it's over, this is what i look like on the computer screen. the scanner picks up glasses, a cell phone, small pocketknife and a pen. the knife could be used as a weapon on a plane. even though they'll gain business and profits from any additional orders, there's an even greater calling at play here. >> there's a great deal of pride that goes into this and everyone out there realizes what's at stake and what they're doing. >> reporter: and what they're doing is earning a living and helping protect the country at the same time. >> they started its operations in august of 2004 with one employee. the company now has 31 workers. many of you have been through airports across the country since christmas day. here's our question for you. are you experiencing long delays
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or security searches? here are a few of your comments on our blog. i certainly felt the impact, this is from bob, of disrupted air travel on my recent flight from winnipeg, canada, to ft. myers, florida. long waits to clear security as well as strict carry-on limitations make one think twice about traveling. this really concerns me as i am in the accommodation industry. the adverse effect on the hospitality sector is certainly felt on both sides of the border. and this from vicki who writes the big question mark is why does the public have to suffer severely when respective government agencies fail to do their job? stricter airport security measures are not even necessary if all names in the terrorist lists are taken seriously. terrorists are terrorists. the of course we want to hear from you as well. leave your comments for us, please, on my blog at
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yemen, the focus of a slew of security concerns. the small country is in the middle of a very volatile region that presents all sorts of challenges. josh levs is here to show us. josh, use that mapping there, flip it, zoom in, pull out, to give us a really good look at yemen please. >> reporter: this is what we need to do because it is surrounded, it is in a very volatile region. let's go straight to it. we were up to that horn of africa and you have the gulf of aiden here and yemen right here. a country of about 24 million people. when we hear about this new organization, this al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, it's not just in yemen. it's also in saudi arabia. so what you're seeing security officials think about here is what to do not only about yemen but also about the operational
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structure of the same organization that is in here. this group was basically the combination of al qaeda in both these countries. now a lot of thoughts about what to do about al qaeda in both these countries as one group. now, as though that wasn't a big enough challenge, let's zoom out even further. i want you to see what's north of here. iraq and iran where obviously the u.s. has a lot of major security concerns in different ways in both nations here. then over here, tony, you have what we traditionally think of as the middle east. you have lebanon and syria, israel, all over here. all of it on the north side of yemen. now, that's a challenge, right? here's what we haven't dealt with yet. let's go to the next section and we'll zoom south. what's on the other side of yemen is also of tremendous concern and that's right here. somalia. as we know, there have been serious security concerns inside somalia. it's been to some extent a breeding ground for al qaeda. and as though all that isn't tricky enough, tony, inside yemen itself, you have all sorts of conflicts going on right there. one of our guests on american
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morning spoke about that. >> al qaeda appears to have merged with local conflicts and this is where the danger lies. so you not only have an al qaeda footprint, an alien one, you have al qaeda now leading the struggles in the south against the north. also you have tens of thousands of somali refugees, somalia is a refugee state. so you have interaction between al qaeda members in yemen and somalia. >> reporter: so, tony, when you take a look at the big picture here, a lot of americans remember the piracy going on outside somalia, you have yemen smack in the middle of all this and with somalia down here, all of it presenting challenges in looking at how do you deal with the new security concerns now, given what's happened over the past week, tony. >> how complicated is this world? it wears me out. it's just -- all right, josh, i appreciate it. >> reporter: i could have kept going but the fact is this is a lot of where the security officials are looking at in terms of this specific story. >> my goodness. josh, appreciate it. think about it for a second
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here. television with no football, no 24 and no "american idol"? it could happen if fox and time warner cable can't find some common ground. uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
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what's this, i can't get my "american idol" fix? i wouldn't mind that so much. i can't watch all my nfl playoff games? that would really bother me. it could happen to some viewers if fox and time warner cable can't resolve a pretty nasty feud. stephanie elam is joining us from new york. stephanie, what's this all about here? >> reporter: we all know you watch "american idol"
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religiously. we know that is your show, tony. >> that much. >> reporter: the issue could be a big deal for a lot of people who watch the fox programs. there's a little disagreement between the nation's second largest cable provider, which is time warner cable, and news corp, the parent of fox tv. so all the fox channels that you see out there. the problem here is that their contract agreement is going to come up and go away when the ball drops tomorrow night and that is the problem. because what is happening here is that time warner cable is basically saying, you know what, you guys want too much money from us and then you take a look at fox and they're saying, yeah, but you've got other stations on your cable network that you pay for. you don't even have to pay for ours and our ratings are better. so they say pay us what you pay those guys. you pay about a dollar a subscriber for people describing to those cable stations. do the same thing. so the difference here, and i should break this down, is broadcast stations bike nbc, abc, cbs and fox, all of those channels are free. those are the basic ones that back in the day when you had
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bunny ears on your tv, you could still get those stations. the way it works with the cable networks, they actually are paid by the cable providers to have their content on their service. so that's the difference here. they're saying, but we've got good content so influence us in that. the networks are saying it's hard for them to make money off the broadcast channels because there's so much programming out there. also advertisers are less interested in paying as much since there's less eyeballs around and also think about how many tv shows you can watch on the internet. there's things like hulu and other things on youtube so because of that it's cutting into revenues as well. obviously this is a dicey one but it's coming up to the 11th hour. >> who's going to be impacted if an agreement isn't reached. >> reporter: not everyone, but a lot of people. we're talking about 13 million people. it's not just fox that we're talking about here. we're also talking about the food network and weather channel here. but los angeles, new york and dallas in particular would really be the ones that could
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see all of the fox, local stations disappear from their channels. they could see fox cable go away and all that regional fox programming. that would all go away as well. for those people who do watch the playoff games -- >> it's not going to go away. they're going to make an agreement. >> reporter: here's the thing, tony. it would behoove both sides to work it out. obviously fox wants to keep their channels on tv and obviously time warner cable would like to keep it around too because people subscribe because of this. so i'm sure something will be worked out soon but as the ball gets closer to dropping, more and more people are worried about losing their fox. >> get in the room and work this out. don't mess with my weather channel. >> reporter: do not mess with your "american idol." we know. >> oh, please. stephanie, appreciate it. thank you. see you next hour. you can see where the ten best places to find a job are located. you can do that right now by logging onto let's get you caught up on our top stories now. this just coming into us. a suicide bomber has attacked a
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military base in eastern afghanistan. there are an unknown number of american casualties to report. cnn's atia abawi is working the story and will bring you any updates as soon as we get them. across iran tens of thousands of people participating in government-sponsored rallies in response to days of anti-government protests, which triggered violent government crackdowns. the government gave all civil servants and employees the day off to attend the rallies. michael jordan's "thriller" video is getting a spot at the library of congress. it is being inducted into the national archives registry which recognizes films for their cultural, historical and aesthetics significance. it is the first music video to be nominated. okay, wall street, main street 2009 was one heck of a year when it comes to everything financial. don't believe me, just ask that man. we'll do that next right here in the "cnn newsroom."
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homeowners who didn't get foreclosed upon took a real beating with declining home values this year. is there a rocky balboa-like comeback in store for 2010? cnn money -- well, our main man, ali velshi hosting his radio show. great to enthe year with you. what is your take on the housing sector for 2009 and then maybe
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give us a bit of a look ahead. >> reporter: all right. well, i'll tell you 2009 was better than it could have been because of the fact that the federal reserve threw so much money at these mortgage agencies keeping mortgage rates low. so we're at 50-year lows on 30 and 15-year fixed mortgages. as a result of that combined with the foreclosures that took housing prices down, it has made the cost of owning a house as low as it has been in a generation. as a result of that, take a look at what the median price of a single family home, that's the kind of home most of us live in, was a yearing a. it was $180,300. in november of 2009, the most recent numbers we have, $172,600, so down 4.3% over the year. down 25% from the peak in august. so you think about this, compared to august of 2005, a house is 25% cheaper. interest rates were six an change then, now they're five and roughly around five. so you combine -- and obviously
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because rates are lower, your down payment as a proportion is lower if you're putting 20 or 30% down. it's a whole lot less money to own a house in 2009. now, tony, the result of that is because it's less money to own a house, more people are taking that risk of getting into a house. if they have got good credit. that means in 2010, we could see some stability. i am a bit more optimistic than a lot of the surveys are on what the median price of a home will be in 2010. the surveys indicate a drop of as much as 10% average nationwide. but remember you're not buying the average house, you're only buying the house in the place you're buying it. some markets are going to see a marked improvement. phoenix, arizona, nevada, florida and michigan are still going to see downturns and that's what's going to bring the average down. for a lot of places, you could still see gains in the market, so it's one of those three areas that make people feel prosperous. i would say if you're in a position to buy a house, keep those low interest rates in
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mind, they could help you out. >> a nice rebound for stocks and maybe we'll talk about jobs next hour, but a nice rebound for stocks and, boy, you recall better than just about all of us where we were in march. was that about -- we were 6,000 for the dow and you take a look at where we were then and where we are now and when a comeback. >> reporter: yeah, you're 20% if you bought in january of last year. allowing for the fact the market went down to march and then up, you're still up double the long-term average for a year. if for some reason you invested in march, you're up 61%. again, you're still down 26% from are october of 2007, which was the all-time high. but, you know, these are just numbers for perspective. the bottom line is you should have had a strategy a yearing a, but i don't blame you for not having one because a year ago there wasn't a single positive economic indicator out there. don't make that mistake for 2010. when i come back in the 12:00 hour, i'm going to give you some
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of the forecasts both for housing and for jobs. >> you are the man, can't wait. ali, appreciate it. thank you, man. see you next hour. >> reporter: have some folks call me. >> did we get the phone number l you? >> did we get the phone number for ali's show? do we have it? somebody work that out for me. it is? there you go. it's 877-266-4189. give ali a call now. he has another ten minutes on the air. still to come, it was a heart-wrenching decision made 50 years ago. five decades later, the reunion.
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i'm jacqui jeras. looking at bitter cold conditions in vermont. temperatures are so cold, the salt is not effective. officials there are trying to experiment a bit in putting some additives in with the rocksalt to help melt it. as you can see on our map, the windchill index is down there. feels like 20 in albany. 6 in portland. 15 below in caribou, maine. temperatures warming up a bit this afternoon and tomorrow ahead of the next weathermaker.
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bringing in snow showers across the upper midwest. rain across the south. just enough to be a nuisance. that will get in the way of folks in the northeast trying to celebrate new year's eve tomorrow night. >> good point. appreciate it. thank you. here's what we are working on for the next hour of cnn newsroom. airport security and behavioral screening in the wake of the failed terror plot. can suspicious behavior be detected before someone gets on a flight? i will ask an airport security consultant. he's the real deal. the new year's tradition gets an eco-friendly update. details in a live report from times square. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on a vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop.
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sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities access and you're still fighting to sleep in the middle of the night, why would you go one more round using it ? you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta. lunesta is different. it keys into receptors that support sleep, setting your sleep process in motion. lunesta helps you get the restful sleep you need. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. stop fighting with your sleep. get a free 7-night trial on-line and ask your doctor
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mother and child reunion ♪ >> it was a mother and child reunion that took half a century to play out. after all those years, a georgia woman meets a daughter she gave up for adoption. it's a story of family and faith. mark pickard reports from lawrenceville, georgia. >> reporter: egola brown walks to the end of the driveway with her family around her to wait. of the almost 51 years that have passed waiting for this moment, these final minutes are the longest. >> i don't know what's going to happen. you know, when i see her, i -- i can't imagine. i can't imagine what's going to happen. but we got a lot to catch up on.
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>> reporter: egola brown was born in alabama but moved to cincinnati where she spent most of her life. she moved to atlanta three years ago in cincinnati she was pregnant at age 20 and living with her parents. >> i couldn't at that time take care of the child. i did the best thing that i thought was possible, that was give up the baby for adoption. >> egola ended up with a large family of her own, one that was always one daughter short. >> i have three other sisters, a broth brother, there's never enough family. >> reporter: that's when egola's granddaughter got involved. >> i found out, if she gave up a baby for adoption. i decided to see into i could find her. >> reporter: lauren went online and entered her grandmother's
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name. >> i'm like what did you send me this time of night? i go up there, look at her. her subject box it had found your sister, merry christmas. >> reporter: karon gibson, heidi's sister, lauren's aunt, egola's daughter was living in cincinnati. she was looking for them, too. she is coming to laurenceville. >> there was a void in my heart. like i said, i give the praise, god worked it out. >> i'm excited. i'm excited for my mother. i'm so happy that for once we can all be together. >> reporter: after 50 years, egola brown is about to meet the baby she gave up for adoption. >> my goodness. >> hi. >> i wasn't abo about to give u. i said at 50, it's too late.
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nobody ever found somebody after 50 years. >> it's wonderful. i'm just glad. i'm just overwhelmed. i'm just glad i got a mom. >> reporter: egola's family is finally together. it is a testament to the bonds of kinship and a glorious example that the strength of love does not diminish even after 50 years. mark pickard, 11 alive news. time for your top of the hour reset. it is 8:00 in the evening on the arabian peninsula where u.s. bombs may fall on al qaeda targets in yemen. u.s. airport security, authorities looking for body language to search for terrorists. and will 2010 be the year for an economic comeback? ali velshi looks into his crystal ball. let's get started by getting you up to speed on the flight 253
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terror investigation. the government has extended new air travel security measures put in place after the attempted bombing. the decision to extend them further will be revisited tonight. president obama wants a report on security lapses on his desk tomorrow. he calls the flight 253 terror a systemic failure. let's focus for a moment on a possible military response to the bomb plot targeting flight 253. pentagon correspondent barbara starr reports. >> reporter: tony, al qaeda in yemen is now in the cross hairs of both the u.s. and yemeni government, the question is what may happen next? >> reporter: what did president obama mean when he said this about the failed christmas day attack. >> we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable. >> reporter: a senior u.s. official tells cnn that military
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and intelligence experts, as part of an already existing effort against al qaeda are looking at possible targets to strike in yemen if the president orders retaliation for the attempted bombing of northwest airlines flight 253, an attack that al qaeda in yemen says it organized. the u.s. official says "we'd do it if we could tie it back to the right people." easier said than done. the first problem -- finding who is responsible. the u.s. believes al qaeda members in yemen scattered after recent air strikes may have killed several members. those air strikes were aimed at hitting al qaeda even before the northwest airlines attack. if there is retaliation now, would the u.s. or yemen conduct the strikes? the whole u.s./yemeni relationship is now under wraps. officially the u.s. won't say who carried out the recent strikes. there is a secret agreement with yemen to keep it quiet, one
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american official says. but a growing number of u.s. military officials privately say the yemeni military doesn't have the ability to do it on its own. so it may be that u.s. ship-launched cruise missiles, fighter jets or armed drones would be used in a retaliation strike, but it won't be made known public. all of this underscores u.s. military, is to help yemeni troops train to fight al qaeda. in 2006, the pentagon spent under $5 million on yemeni counterterrorism units. this year, $56 million, more than a 1,300% increase. the head of u.s. intelligence earlier this year made clear why it's so important. >> yemen is re-emerging as a jihadist battleground. the capabilities of terrorist groups in east africa will increase in the next year.
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>> so what could be on the target list? u.s. officials say they believe there are about 200 al qaeda fighters in yemen, a central core leadership and training camp and there is a suspicion that the suspect in the attack may have trained at one of those camps. all passengers leaving amsterdam to the united states will undergo a full body scan. >> translator: all aspects of security investigated in detail, but the detection gates only detect metal, which is why we carry out samples and do body searches. this system, of course, is not watertight, which is why meanwhile we have decided to start using body scanners on flights to the states.
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>> then authorities in africa suspect a link between the attempted bombing of a u.s. plane at the incident in somalia. they say a man was arrested last month trying to board a flight with chemicals that could be used as an explosive device. he tried to get on a plane in m mogadishu that was headed for dubai. he is now in custody. the failed terror plot against that detroit-bound plane. security experts say some of the lessons of september 11th have been forgotten and gaps in airport security remain. the story now from jim acosta. >> reporter: more than eight years after the attacks on september 11th, the attempted bombing of flight 253 prove terrorists are still exploiting gaps in aviation security. one hole that worries experts is at the top of the tsa. >> it's shocking that there is not a permanent tsa
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administrator in place. >> reporter: it took president obama eight months to pick somebody to lead the tsa, but erol suthers, the current head of intelligence at los angeles international airport has been in limbo since september. republican senator jim demint is blocking the appointment. >> is a constant need to adjust and to be flexible to use imagination, to change things. we cannot ask a third party union boss whether or not he will move a screener from one station to another. that's what collective bargains does. >> reporter: two weeks ago the acting administrator of the tsa was hauled before a congressional hearing to explain how one of the agencies passenger screens manuals got leaked on to the internet. at the time gale rossidies insisted the flying public was safe. >> where are we with respect to security. >> madam chairwoman, the system
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is very strong. i'm confident in saying that. >> reporter: tell that to the 9/11 commission which warned five years ago tsa and congress must give priority attention to improving checkpoints to detect explosives on passengers. to this day, most air travelers pass through magnetometers, which don't pick up chemicals hidden in clothing. tsa has an array of ten passenger screening technologies, but the agency has not deployed these technologies to airports nationwide. the tsa spent millions of dollars on puffer machines only to find out they have maintenance issues. body scanners are years away from widespread use. >> bat scatter machines, millimeter wave machines been in place at these airports, it would have noticed something was taped to this suspect's leg. >> reporter: add to that the
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9/11 commission's plea to improve the no-fly list, one that did not have the suspected bomber of flight 253 on its list. with armed pilots and new doors, aviation has seen more security upgrades answer that the ports and borders which is why an attack on an airliner would send a disturbing message of failure. what can the government do to make flying safer? and are you willing to live with what might be required? first, our random moment in 60 seconds. let me take this. wait, there's no such thing as a projector phone. no, it's the lg phone and projector. there's no such thing as an lg phone and projector. ta-da. what ? the man said "ta-da" ! introducing the lg expo smartphone and lg projector. only at at&t.
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time for our random moment of the day. you hear motorcyclists refer to their ride as hog. but this dude would rather scale his gator. sounds as it looks. boy, does that mean mean. this critter was a ten-footer before leatherworker benny orman
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got to him. benny said he had to soak the hide in the swimming pool for three weeks or so before starting work. there you have it. the hog that's a gator. your random moment of the day.
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could you spot a terrorist on sight? it is job number one for u. u.s. air mar shals. brian todd has more. >> reporter: the homeland security secretary answers a key question about the failed attacked on a u.s. passenger jet -- were there u.s. marshals
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on board. >> as far as i know there was not one. >> reporter: since that incident, the number of air marshals has increased if there was a marshall present they don't believe umar farouk abdulmutallab would have gotten on board that plane. >> drop the gun! >> reporter: as depicted in this previous reporting, marshals are trained to blend in but be forceful almost instantly. the marshal we spoke to said one of the most important things they do is monitor passengers, including watching passengers as they go to the bathrooms. >> we can watch the behavior before he actually gets into the bathroom. we can see what the person carries with him when he goes into the bathroom. we can look at how much time is spent inside.
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>> reporter: air marshals and other experts tell us suspicious behavior can be detected before suspects get on board a flight. they say if you know what you are looking for you can find it here in the terminals, at the ticket counters. one air marshall said he would move around waiting areas at gates, eavesdropping on conversations. some he would have to keep track with, some who traveled alone, seemed nervous, and those who had what he called the thousand yard stair. ron says in israel that i take extra measures. >> it's not just security people who have to be trained, right? >> that's correct. or most important asset when it comes to detection of suspicious behavior are all the employees we have all over the airport. the presence of security personnel and law enforcement people is limited. >> reporter: you're talking ticket counter people?
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>> ticket counter people, janitors who are cleaning the restrooms. i'm talking about the people at the parking lot. i'm talking about the people on the curbside. these are the people that are so familiar with the regular activities, and will immediately recognize irregularities. >> reporter: rafi ron says thee are employees who can see passengers in areas of the airport where there may not be security cameras or personnel. he makes a strong point this is not racial profiling but behavioral profiling, facial movements, body language, not ethnicity or gender. brian todd, cnn washington. airport security in the united states is under the microscope after the attempt to blow up a detroit-bound flight. there are calls for more use of body scanners and even, as you heard, behavioral screening. we will spend more time with rafi ron, president of new age security solutions an airport security consulting firm.
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i want to push you on this idea of behavioral screening. i know you know what you're talking about here. i want to hear it again from you. do you believe that suspicious behavior can be detected before a suspect gets on a flight? that if you know what you are looking for you can find these people in airport terminals? waiting areas? ticket areas? security checkpoints? >> let's first set the expectation at the right level. we are not talking about a silver bullet solution that will solve all our problems. we are talking about one more layer that has turned out to be very important and was relatively neglected during the last eight years, directly to the question i would say that, yes, there are a lot of indicators prior to an attack that an attack is going to take place. these are behavioral indicators. that's the weak point of terrorists, in containing their behavior and preparing to deal
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with behavioral situations. who is doing this kind of screening in your view? in your perfect world what employees at the airport are charged with doing this kind of screening? >> well t should be part of the culture. it's not just a nonspecific location. this is why in airports where we operate, like miami international, we took the time to train the wide employee population all the way to janitors, the curbside porters, everybody else in detecting suspicious behavior and reporting it. giving them the confidence to do it in a reasonable way. eight years ago, when we were given the first opportunity to draw the lesson, when richard reid carried an explosive device to an american airline flight, we drew the wrong conclusion. we asked passengers to take off
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their shoes. >> yes. >> obviously that was a limited scope of the problem and a rather failed approach to it when we studied the richard reid case, he left a trail of suspicion behind him all the way before he boarded the aircraft and even when he was on the aircraft itself. but we failed to pick it up. later on we failed to learn the lesson. >> well, what's the lesson of -- maybe in some respects it's the same lesson from the richard reid case. what's the lesson of the christmas day attempt in your mind? >> well, first of all, i think it has great similarity to the richard reid case. once again we have a single terrorist supported by a bigger organization that provided him with a device. the device is based on ptn, same explosive used in both attacks. the device contains no metallic component in it, which allows
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the terrorist to take it through the metal detection system at the checkpoint. so on and so on. one more thing is, of course, the issue of behavior. >> yeah. >> the richard reid case we have a lot of information. we don't have yet enough information about the umar farouk abdulmutallab case. two things are emerging. there's report about the -- what was described as nervous pacing behavior before taking off or before boarding in amsterdam. and secondly, the action that he was take -- he has taken before activating his device, in other words, going to the bathroom the way he did, the suspicious activity he engaged in. none of that was detect ted or responded to obviously we failed again. >> rafi, i want you to be right about all of this this idea of
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behavioral screening. look, it's more art than science, isn't it? you're making assumptions here. you have to. i'm just curious, after this christmas day attempt, shouldn't we be questioning all assumptions? >> well, of course we should question almost every assumption we made until now, every assumption we will be making in the future. they should all be under continuous questioning. one thing is emerging. the concept we adopted since 9/11, which is we can prevent an attack simply by using technology to screen for items is a failed approach. >> yeah. yeah. >> it failed us again and again and again from 9/11 to richard reid to the liquid bombers in london and now to abdulmutallab. >> i hear that a lot that we're spending too much time looking for weapons and not enough looking at people. make the argument for stepped up
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behavioral screening and why this is not ethnic profiling which you say it isn't. >> as far as ethnic profiling, i'm against it, not only from the legal point of view and the moral point of view but also the professional point of view. in my past i was director of security at tel aviv airport. that airport was supposed to be attacked by an palestinian or arab terrorist, but it was never attacked by one. it was attacked, though, by a group of japanese terrorists leaving 24 people dead on the ground. later on by the german terrorists in the mid '80s this is an important lesson. we look around at who are the people that al qaeda is now recruiting in the united states, in western europe, in other parts of the world. they don't answer to a clear ethnic profile.
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so the idea following ethnicity as a key to identifying terrorists is a failed idea. i strongly recommend it, we will not go down this way. >> i am glad you are making that point. part of the behavior pattern recognition program is to actually convince the officers and other people not to use racial profiling. >> rafi, appreciate it. thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> let's get you caught up with our top stories. we are getting reports of american casualties from a suicide bomb attack in afghanistan. military officials say a bomber wearing an explosive vest hit a base in khost province. casualty numbers are from five to nine people. >> there was a deadly attack on shiite muslims. the blast on monday killed dozens of people and sparked rioting. a british man held hostage by militants in iran for more
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than two years has been freed. peter moore is in good health. new year's eve in times square is going to look a little green. we will show you how. gecko: yeah, 'course. boss: boy, did we miss you last week. that temp wasn't working out at all. exec: took me all morning but i got those quarterly figures for ... you. (hissing noise, gulping) gecko: aw, he ate all my mints. anncr: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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ready to ring in the new year with the greenest ball drop ever. the crowds have not gathered quite yet. but poppy harlow is live in times square with today's energy fix. terrific. all right. good to see you. good to see you, too. you are a little warmer than i am. >> little bit. >> it's freezing here in times square. it is going to be the greenest new year's eve ever if you talk about the ball dropping. you see the famous new year's eve ball behind me. they are testing it in a few minutes for the first time in times square. the reason it's greener is there
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are more than 32,000 l.e.d. lights, not only on the ball but also on the numbers, the 2010 numbers that will you see lit up at midnight tomorrow night. they are all l.e.d. lights. that means this ball drop will be 78% more energy efficient than back in 2007. when you talk about the energy that it takes to power it, it's not much. for every hour it's lit t will take the same amount of energy to heat two conventional ovens. it's amazing the energy being saved here. it's not just something they are doing here in times square. you can do it at home, too the same technology, lighting this ball, is something you can use in your home now using l.e.d. lights. we talk to the head of phillips north america today. he talked about what it means for the average consumer. >> for the average consumer, they hate changing light bulbs. and the beautiful thing about this product, it lasts 20 times longer than what they're using now. so that's 20 less trips down to
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the store, 20 less times they have to get out the ladder, it saves a tremendous amount of energy but also it saves because you don't have to replace the light bulb very often. >> reporter: these are those l.e.d. light bulbs he's talking about you can get them at your hardware store. these are phillips, they are selling them at home depot. you can get them almost anywhere. a lot of bran brands out. there a lot of people in times square are working to pow their ball drop this is the duracell pedal power, people in times square pedalling away for 166 hours that will power the lighting of the 2010 numbers tomorrow night. >> good stuff. >> my understanding is you will be on the big new year's eve show with andersen cooper there. >> yes. >> you will be there. give us a hint as to what we might see tomorrow. >> sure. tomorrow night i hear it's going to be even colder, snowing and maybe a bit of rain. so i'm looking forward to the weather. no, i'll be down on the street reporting with don lemon.
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that starts at 11:00 eastern time tomorrow night. i'm told there will be a million people down here at times square and mike bloomberg, he will flip the famous switch you see behind me for the ball drop. he will be joined by some new york city school kids for that. that's cnn's special coverage tomorrow night at 11:00. >> i'll be watching you toasty at home. >> i'll be freezing. have some champagne for me. >> good to see you. thank you. >> thanks. >> still to come, why has yemen become such a focus in the battle against terrorism? we are breaking down the threat next.
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beyond the bombing of the "uss cole" more than nine years
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ago we have not paid much attention to the nation of yemen in a long time. but the christmas day attempted bombing of a u.s. plane has changed that. john roberts discussed yemen's role with two experts on the middle east earlier this morning. >> what al qaeda has done is to embed itself in local -- within local conflicts. this is where the danger lies. so you not only have an al qaeda footprint, an alien one, you have al qaeda now leading the struggles in the south against the north. also you have tens of thousands of somali refugees, somalia is a refugee state. so you have interaction between al qaeda members in yemen and somalia. vut pre the pressures in pakistan are forcing al qaeda to send only assets to yemen. i go to yemen quite often, you can buy tanks in yemen.
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this is why yemen is a major problem, not only for the united states but the integrity and unity of yemen itself is at stake today. if ever there were a recipe for extremist, sounds like it is there. some members of congress have advocated preemptive strikes in yemen. there was a strike on or about december 17th. some say it was cruise missiles fired from warships. the u.s. has been quiet about this. would preemptive strikes work there? >> i think if the intelligence is good, the u.s. will go after these guys and not talk about it to you and i. will it work on this insurgency? absolutely not. this is a structural issue with an utter lack of capacity to
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deliver resources, not just pervasive corruption but a watertable that's falling apart. if you were to send billions of dollars to yemen now you wouldn't be able to give it to the folks on the ground. there's no mechanism or infrastructure. >> okay. more focus on yemen now with josh levs. last hour you showed us the map. what do you have coming up for us. >> i want to explain what was just told to us. i want to show you, if i can, he was talking about somalia. we will go to yemen, also look at somalia. it's important to understand the context of what he was talking about. this is the area he was talking about. this is yemen here. you have the gulf of aden in here. in yemen you have 24 million people. over here is somalia. in somalia, there has been some serious instability, a breeding ground of al qaeda. what he was saying is that there have been plenty of people who managed to work their way over from somalia to yemen.
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so dealing with al qaeda in yemen does not just mean dealing with al qaeda in yemen. let's see the other side. the organization we're talking about now is al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. you have al qaeda in yemen and also al qaeda in saudi arabia. if you're going to combat this al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, we will hear about actions inside yemen but also what will be done about any portions of the organization the structure in saudi arabia. before i go, let's zoom further north. i want you to keep in mind, the big cob text here. you also have iraq right here, iran right here. plenty of security concerns already in that region. also, as we know, saudi arabia, the biggest oil supplier to opec, which we have to keep in mind. over here, tony, you have what we think of as the middle east and the middle east crisis, israel and palestinian
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territories. all those areas there caught up in dealing with this region. let's zoom back out. any time we hear about addressing the concerns of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, we will think about this major context. that's the big picture that authorities are dealing with now. >> so much conflict in the world when you break it out on the map like that. all right, josh. appreciate it. 2009 has been a rocky year for the economy. what's ahead for our wallets in 2010? i'll get some insight from that man, ali velshi. he's next. you're you. aarp understands that. that's why they endorse products from top companies... so people 50 plus can choose health coverage options... as unique as they are. call or visit for free information that let you select the coverage you want... and skip what you don't. let's say you want to start your own business. a major medical plan could make it easy... to get those employer-like health benefits.
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call now for free information. and get what you need to make health care decisions... that work for you. you don't even have to be an aarp member to call. all you have to do is be yourself. and, if you have any questions about medicare, call today and get your free copy of "medicare made clear," by unitedhealth educational publishing group. it will help you better understand all your choices. so don't wait. call today for your free guide. as always at this time we would like to direct your attention to our money team does a terrific
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job. head over to let's take you to the new york stock exchange. this is a plat day. the dow is down a point. the nasdaq is down a-point. maybe we can find out what's going on. i have to tell you, it's been quite a year of rebound for stocks. what will happen with the overall economy in 2010? let's focus on three key areas here. housing, stocks, and jobs. cnn chief business correspondent ali velshi. you ready to gaze into the crystal ball here. >> i am. i think we breathed easier than a year ago at this time. it's largely on all three fronts probably going to get better. let's start with housing this recession we were in. back in 2005/2006, the peak of the housing market, we are down 25% from that. what happens next year? most surveys indicate the median
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price for houses will fall across the united states. 90% of the markets could see a drop. some will drop, some will gain, most estimates is that prices will start to stabilize in the second half. prices are low for three reasons, there's more houses out there than people want to buy. that's the main reason. credit is a little hard to come by for some people. the demands for what you need for a mortgage are higher. and people are uncertain about whether they will have their job so they don't buy houses. the prices are low, mortgage rates are low. i think will you start to see people buying houses. >> and you have that extended and expanded housing tax credit, too that should help. >> that's been driving people into the housing market. the other thing that's been helping a little bit is the stock situation. while fewer than half of americans are invested in the stock market that means close to half are. and when they see that their ira's and 401(k)s and maybe retirement starts to look like it could happen again, they might think about making that
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investment. let's look at what the stock market is likely to do next year. we had a 20% gain this year. investors are more cautious, though. that's double the average gain you would get of a long term. one thing the government will do is winding down their assistance to the banks and to the mortgage companies. you should expect a smaller return in 2010 than you got in 2009. most people i have spoken to expect the market will end 2010 higher than it started. >> and, you know, they're all big ones, but what about the jobs picture? what do you see there? >> i think it's a bigger biggie. i think these are three biggies, but that's a big one. you don't have to buy a house. you can delay your investment in the stock market but you have to have an income. let's look at what career builder says. they have a good representation of what people are saying. 20% of employers plan to make full-time hires, they plan to hire people full-time. 11% plan to add part-time workers. unemployment will stay above 8%.
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given that we are at 10% now, i would take 8% as a win. are we going to create jobs in 2010? most estimates are, yes, we will. will it start in january or march or april? the minute we start to have more jobs created in a month than lost, i think you're going start to see a different sentiment in the economy. people will start to think maybe this recession is over, even though it probably technically is. it will feel like it once we start adding jobs. >> glad you will be with us to track all this in 2010. thanks for all of your help this year. >> always my pleasure. we'll have more fun in 2010. >> still to come, how wet and cold will your new year's eve be? karen is checking conditions across the country. medicare.
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it doesn't cover everything. our top story now, democrats
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say republican senator jim demint of south carolina is playing politics with terror. demint is blocking the president's nominee to head the transportation security administration. there is a new push to get a tsa direct ner place after last week's terror incident. at least 23 people are dead after a series of blasts in ramadi, iraq. 57 others are wounded. the governor was targeted by a suicide bomber after he tried to help the victims of the first two explosives. new york's restaurant tavern on the green is closing after 50 years. the last meal will be tomorrow night. speaking of new year's eve, karen maginnis is looking ahead, everyone is thinking about the
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new year's eve plans. >> i know. for new yorkers, we had poppy harlow out there all day. >> yeah. >> whoa, that's an assignment tomorrow that will be a little on the rough side. new york is going to see right on the verge, could be rain, could be rain and some snow, could be some freezing rain. either way, that temperature will be near that freezing mark. it is going to be a raw evening for folks who are trying to celebrate in the big apple. washington, d.c., you may be faring better. could be all rain. we think it will taper off, going into the early part of friday, it could change over to snowfall. so you're kind of borderline there. chicago, just going to be bitterly cold. the outside air temperature should be around 12 degrees. around midnight. it will feel like 1 degree below zero. we have a storm system moving across the west. another one that is expected to
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move on shore by thursday. well, our affiliate, koin is showing us this picture from their tower cam. cloudy, overcast. temperature, 33 degrees. well, we want to show you the way it looked from our affiliate kptv yesterday evening. that's how it looked. that's as that storm system was approaching. those snow levels are going to be dropping down to around 1,551,5500 feet. here is your new year's eve forecast. along the gulf coast, looking good. the northeast, looking at snow, a rain/snow mix, new york, washington, d.c. on the verge. for the pacific northwest, tony, looks like that will be the worst area with the best chance of mixed precipitation, the snow levels through the cascades will be low and blustery. >> okay, karen. thank you. want to put this on your radar. it's on ours. we have been following it for a while and have been able to get
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some surveillance video. i don't know which vehicle in particular is the vehicle of concern, but i can tell you you're looking at times square, new york city. it's the van in the center. thank you for the guidance there. we can now confirm that the nypd is investigating a suspicious van parked near the intersection of 42nd street and broadway. my understanding is that it's the van in the center of the screen here. you see no activity around on that street. that's because it has been shut down as the investigation continues. i think i just saw someone moving. i'm hoping that's law enforcement working the investigation right now. we have no further information as to what what it is that tipped local officials off to this van. but we will keep an eye on this situation. obviously with so much attention being paid to times square ahead of the big new year's eve celebration there.
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any suspicious vehicle is of particular interest to law enforcement. and we see that someone is walking up. we saw that person just a moment ago at the lower left of the screen. that made -- well, yeah, he is by the van in question. that person has walked up to the van in question. so we can spot shadow that better here and give you a better view of the van we're talking about here. this is at the intersection of 42nd and broadway. we are talking times square, new york city now in manhattan. so we will keep an eye -- i want to watch this picture here. i don't know if that's law enforcement or someone with law enforcement. whoever it is, that person -- i have to assume it's someone in law enforcement. they're walking away from that van. that person is walking away right now. we will continue to follow this
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picture, the back row of our control room, and certainly our national desk is watching this as well. we will bring you updates on this situation as soon as we can let's get to you a quick break.
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breaking news now out of new york, times square. you can imagine this the day before the big new years celebration, times square, are you kidding me? no. we have a suspicious van right
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there. there's the spot on it. at 42nd and broadway. the intersection of 42nd and broadway. let me bring in poppy harlow. poppy, you are reporting not far from that location. give us the proximity of your location to the scene we're looking play out right now. >> i'm actually walking down the stairwell from the 21st floor of 1 times square right now this is at the heart of times square at 42nd and broadway. they're evacuating the building currently as i speak. what i can tell you is about 11:30 eastern time, nypd started an investigation right here in times square of what they're calling a suspicious vehicle. i saw this vehicle, it is a white van, some reports are saying that it was covered with tarps and that it also had been parked for one to two days. tony, that's why it was deemed suspicious.
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police are also evacuating this building. i'm hearing reports they may be evacuating the nasdaq market site across the street. hundreds of people around times square obviously now to figure exactly what police are doing. they've rerouted bus lines also, tony, that go through here during the ongoing investigation. >> obviously. circle back to that information about the van. did you say that there is some reporting that it may have been there for a day or so? >> reporter: that's exactly right, tony. i saw this van. i went downstairs. there's actually a walgreens at the bottom of this building. they wouldn't let us outside. i looked at the van. the security guards in there were telling us and nypd had said that van has been parked there for a day or two. that's why they deem it suspicious. also reporting that possibly there were new jersey license plates on the van. one report that is not confirmed, but that i have heard from one of the heads of
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security at walgreen's is that there may, tony, may have been a fake nypd plaque within the van, and that caused some suspicious. so a number of questions remaining here, tony. we're trying to get all of it confirmed by the police as we're literally, evacuating, walking down the stairwell as i'm talking to you. >> we've got a lot of activity around this van right now. i don't know really what to make of this. i know someone who can help me make some sense of it. mike brooks is on the line with us. he is cnn's law enforcement analyst. and, mike, what do you make of this situation? now we've got doors on the van open. we've had someone reaching inside. a couple of people now reaching inside. so what do you make of this? >> well, tony, from what i've seen and having worked situations like these before a number of times, you saw the bomb tech in his suit go up. they took pictures inside. we're looking inside the van. what they're looking for, one of the first things you do, you look to see how low is it sitting on the tires.
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that would indicate there might be a load on the van. they probably didn't see that. he went up, took extreme caution. you want to make sure the doors aren't booby trapped in any way. you see people walking in there without any protective equipment which would say to me, tony, they believe this van is safe. we can't say that for sure. but the protocol of the nypd bomb unit, which is one of the -- >> looks like we've lost mike brooks for just a moment here. but his analysis -- there he is. okay. mike, i'm sorry. we didn't catch the very end of your last comment. you dropped off when you said it appears to you by looking at the pictures and seeing folks walking up to the van without protective equipment on that this is a situation that seems to be under control to you? >> it looks like that. because i can tell you by protocol, the bomb technicians would not be anywhere near that van without protective equipment if they thought that there was
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any kind of hazardous material inside, highly explosive. they're probably going to go ahead and check this out. tony, keep in mind. this is time they start going out in the area looking for vehicles that pligmight be abandoned. this is where the crowd will be tomorrow night. this is all part of what the precinct does around times square to make sure the area is secure for people to come in there, to make sure nothing is secreted in any kind of vehicles like this, tony. >> isn't it a little concerning, the reporting we heard just a moment ago from our poppy harlow, that there is some reporting that this vehicle has been at this location perhaps a day or two? that's a bit concerns. >> it is. i can tell you, tony, in new york, washington, d.c., l.a., a lot of different vehicles. but that's one of the things they're doing. they're going around to make sure all of these vehicles in these particular areas are
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cleared with tomorrow night's new year's eve celebration coming up. it might have been part of that preparation where they found this, kind of alerted their attention. that's the reason they went ahead and checked it out, after talking to some of the merchants in the area saying it might have had new jersey tags, nypd placa placard, fake placard on it. they're going to take every precaution necessary. >> the big key for you that suggests that this is a situation that appears to be under control is that you're seeing so many people walking to the vehicle without protective equipment on and we've got doors wide open now? >> exactly. otherwise you would see probably the bomb technician go up there, maybe use the robot to bring -- if there was any hazardous material inside that, they could either go ahead and do a render safe procedure inside the van or bring it out and do an rsp outside.
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it doesn't look like they've found any hazardous material. i'm not seeing that with the officers walking around opening the doors without any protective gear on. >> poppy, let me get back to you for a second. hang on, mike, if you would. poppy, you've been asked to evacuate, correct? >> reporter: tony, i just literally walked out of the building. 1 times square. there's a walgreen's at the bottom. i'm standing next to one of the police officers. sir, are you evacuating everyone from times square? okay. he can't tell me anything. we have to evacuate the whole block of 42nd street and bodway. i can tell you i've lived in new york about eight years. things like this do happen. you have to hope for the best and hope that this is just a scare. i think mike brooks, great point. police wouldn't be in that van without bomb gear if there was something to be very concerned about. but, again, they're evacuating this entire block at the middle
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of what is really the height of 1 tower here in new york city. tony, it's a vacant block. i'm being yelled at to get off of it right now. >> as you keep moving, and we want you to keep move iing, kee following instructions by the officers, this started about 11:30 or so? >> about 11:30 a.m. eastern time, tony, here. so just about an hour -- yeah. just about an hour and a half ago that would have been. and, again, it was this white van that i saw with my own eyes. it looked like a typical white van park there had. but, again, the concern, as mike brooks and i both said, it may have been there for a number of days. there may have been a question of a fake police placard in there. still trying to confirm that. so there were obviously a lot of questions that have caused, i would say, tony, 20 to 30 police officers down here, at least. i'm looking down broadway and
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42nd street right now. there's a sea of people around here at this point. everyone just trying to figure out what on earth is going on. >> well, and mike brooks, are you still with us? >> i'm still here, tony. >> look at this scene now. a full on gaggle around the van now. what does that say to you? >> that says to me that most likely, again, most likely, because we haven't been able to confirm it with nypd yet, but there's probably most likely no hazardous material inside that van. maybe they found something else inside that wasn't a hazardous material. but, again, we don't know. for me, tony, from having done this for a number of years and been the one who goes near these vans, i can tell you that most likely there is no hazardous material. it probably doesn't present too much of a threat. unless now they believe that after running maybe the vehicle identification number, the vin number, it could be stolen. we don't know yet. >> at this point, once you've secured that vehicle, you're just trying to get it out of there, right? >> exactly.
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you don't want this unoccupied van that's been sitting there for a number of days on the street. as you know, tony, they will go ahead and start towing vehicles probably tomorrow afternoon because of all the people in vehicul vehicular traffic all around times square because of the celebration tomorrow evening. >> well, you know, mike, it's nothing, and it looks like the authorities have treated it as severely and seriously as they need to. it's no joke for this kind of thing to take place on new year's -- the day before new year's eve. we're talking about new york. we're talking about times square. and it looks like out of an abundance of caution, and they have taken every step that you would recommend as someone who has done this kind of work for years? >> absolutely. keep in mind, tony, the whole country is -- you know, is in the alert color yellow, if you will. but, as we know, new york city,
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mayor bloomberg has said that new york city has been at a level orange, you know, ever since 9/11. just a little bit higher than the national level. but that is why they've taken a bunch of precautions. that's why we see every day, you know, some of these -- some of the hercules units. we see them when we're up there of how to respond if there is a need for a full command response or an incident like this. you talk about planning and preparation, nypd is one of the best. >> all right. poppy -- >> tony, if i can -- >> jump in. >> if i can jump in here, the police -- have jubarricades havn moved, and the block is opened. looks like traffic is moving freely now. no cars yet, but pedestrian traffic. again, they literally just moved the police barricades and people are walking now


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