tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 2, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern. and every saturday at 6:00 p.m. on cnn. and at this time every weekend on cnn international. the news continues next on cnn. hello, everyone. i'm don lemon reporting tonight from new york. as you can see we start with a developing story, bitter cold, blustery winds and dropping temperatures developing across the nation now. not one but two weather systems mack make a messy start to 2010. the mercury is plunging in minnesota. that's the sound of teeth chattering. sub-zero temperatures, the story is snow in maine where the year's first big storm is packing a real punch. and think florida is immune from the cold? think again. a hard freeze warning means people are trading in their swimsuits for parkas and keeping an eye on their crops as well. a gusty night in new york city.
an old storm gets a second wind here. look at that. windchills, 14 degrees. jacqui jeras joins us. what is going on? i know it is winter, but, man, it is cold. >> i know. it is really extreme. it is cold even by minnesota standards. we're talking about temperatures, below zero, 20 to 30 degrees. that is really extreme. to give you the big picture on the cold, you can see it is about the eastern two-thirds of the country. and these purple areas where temperatures are going to be about 20 degrees below average tomorrow morning. that's freezing conditions across parts of florida. we're concerned about the citrus crops here, strawberries, lemons, oranges, of course. we're talking about winds, windchills that could make skin freeze in a couple of minutes, 10, 15 minutes at the most. low temperatures tonight where you'll be bottoming out on thermometer. freezing mark on the south and well below zero across parts of the north. high pressure is gripping this part of the country and it is
going to stay purt ft for a cou of days. this will be a long duration event for so many people. and you can see some of the worst of it. winnipeg, 31 degrees below zero. here is some of the record lows this morning. 35 below in grand forks. fargo, 33 below, 22 below in sioux city. the other part of our weather story today is a nor'easter. remember that system that brought all that rain to you, john, in new york city on new year's eve? that system is coming back for a second hoorah. it is bringing in moisture and heavy snow across northern new england. we could see 8 to 18 inches of snow across central parts of maine. we won't see a lot of heavy snow from new york to boston, boston a couple of inches, we are going to see some incredible winds. look at this live picture. this is out of providence, rhode island, where the temperatures is 25 degrees. winter weather advisory for you looking at 2 to 4 inches of snow. winds tonight, gusting 40 to 50
miles per hour. so that's going to catch a lot of people off guard as those winds come in in the overnight hours. winds and low clouds causing a ground stop right now at boston logan until 7:30. that means nobody is taking off to get to boston at that hour. over an hour delay at jfk in newark. we're expecting those delays to continue through the day tomorrow, don, as that low gets closer to the shore and then finally starts to pull out by your monday. this will be a bitter cold weekend and very snowy for a lot of folks across the eastern two-thirds of the u.s. >> domino effect. delays today, then put them on tomorrow, so bad news for travelers. >> yeah, it will. >> be patient. >> a lot of people still out there for the holidays. >> absolutely. we'll check back. thank you very much. we'll move on now. words of warning today from a top u.s. counterterrorism official. the director of the national counterterrorism center says the failed christmas day attack on a northwest airlines jet is a reminder of al qaeda's ultimate
goals. al qaeda planners, he says, are testing u.s. defenses as they prepare to launch an attack on u.s. soil. u.s. officials in his words know with absolute certainty that would be terrorists are working to refine their methods. those words come as president barack obama issued a stern warning of his own to the plotters behind the christmas day incident. he linked the christmas day suspect with al qaeda forces based in yemen. in his weekly remarks, the president said the group al qaeda in the albanian peninsula attacked u.s. targets before. and the u.s., he vowed, is fighting back. >> so as president i made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the yemeni government, training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence, and working with them to strike al qaeda terrorists. even before christmas day, we had seen the results. training camps have been struck, leaders eliminated, plots disrupted. and all those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on christmas must know you too will be held to account. >> one other note involving
yemen, a senior u.s. government source tells cnn that general david petraeus, head of u.s. central command, met with the yemen president today in yemen. ed henry is traveling with president barack obama in hawaii. he joins us now. a lot to cover here. first, what is the significance of the president tying al qaeda to this christmas day attack? >> reporter: well, don, we have got new information this hour which is that we now know the president was briefed today by his aides about general petraeus' visit to yemen. that's significant because the president's message today was very clear that even before this christmas day terror incident, the u.s. was trying to disrupt al qaeda in yemen. now with general petraeus on the ground there, meeting with yemeni officials, the president talking tough today. it is very clear that the u.s. very quietly is reviewing their options and seeing whether or not there will be more air strikes in the days ahead against al qaeda. they're not going to tip their hand just yet, not going to get into great detail.
but they are very clearly trying to disrupt and dismantle al qaeda in yemen. it shows al qaeda has grown in other countries, beyond just places like afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, now in yemen and the u.s. is targeting them big time, don. >> who is he talking to? who is he speaking to specifically when he says he'll hold people accountable? who is his audience here? >> reporter: he's talking about the central intelligence agency, the director of national intelligence and his staff. the bottom line is that as the president receives these preliminary findings of what went wrong and led to this near terror incident, near terror attack, i should say, almost an attack that just fizzled out is the fact that there were a lot of mistakes made, almost a pre 9/11 mentality where some intelligence officials had information suggesting that maybe this eventual suspect had ties to extremists and they didn't share it with other people. that's become clear in the early parts of this investigation. tuesday, his first full day in the white house, the president is having the head of the cia and the director of national
intelligence and others in the white house situation room to find out what went wrong. he wants to find out what they can learn from that to prevent future attacks. there is a lot on the line now, don. >> i asked you about this earlier about midterm elections. you're there with the president and looking back at the folks here on the main island, as we say, you think this is going to be a big possibility that this will play a role in the midterm elections? >> reporter: i don't think there is any doubt now that while the economy, health care, a lot of domestic issue will of course be big factors in the midterm elections, this is what is on the president's agenda, and what republicans are fighting him on, national security, the fight against terror is back on the front burner. and while people vote on their pocketbook, if they don't feel personally safe, that could also be a big factor in their voting decision. a long way before the november midterms but the fact of the matter is the white house is well aware you talk to top aides that personal safety and security is at the top of the list and they say the president didn't get a wakeup call on christmas day. they insist long before that he
knew about the threat from al qaeda and other terror groups and he'll stay on it this year and beyond, don. >> cnn's ed henry in beautiful hawaii there. thank you very much for that, ed. there are growing u.s. concerns about political instability in yemen and somalia and the terror lot to emerging from both countries. this video from yesterday in somalia shows fighters wrapping up military training near mogadishu. their leader says fighters are prepared to battle government forces in somalia and in yemen. in response, yemen reportedly is tightening security along the coast and searching suspicious boat and other vessels. we're getting word about a possible link between a christmas day terror attack and the november massacre at ft. hood, texas. an official tells cnn that would be bomber umar farouk abdulmutallab had direct contact with muslim cleric anwar al awlaki. he exchanged e-mails with the accused ft. hood gunman. earlier i discussed the situation in yemen and today's
visit there by general david petraeus with ken robinson. i asked him if the general's trip could be a precursor to wider u.s. action in yemen. >> i think it is. because what we have right now is really good diplomacy going on because they're trying to establish legitimacy with the government of yemen and with the arab street because these bombings are going to happen and legitimacy will be half the battle. the other part is proper target selections of legitimate targets that had to do with giving sanctuary to al qaeda or threatening the survival of the state of yemen. and we have to avoid collateral damage in the process. >> intelligence analyst ken robinson earlier on cnn. the christmas day terror suspect had a legal visa to enter this country. how could that happen? we'll show you the ins and outs of the visa process. you don't want to miss that. the president carves smout f s
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on the 2010 lacrosse. from buick. it's the new class of world class. tragic story to tell you about. it is a tragic truth. when gun are fired into the air, the bullet has to fall somewhere. celebratory gunfire on new year's eve proved dangerous in three cities. a 4-year-old in decatur, georgia, was killed by a stray
bullet that pierced the roof of a church where he was attend a new year's eve service. child died after being rushed to the hospital. in georgia, a man was asleep in bed just before midnight when he was hit by a bullet. the slug fell through the roof on his mobile home and hit him in the leg. in miami, a 6-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet while eating at an outdoor restaurant. he's expected to recover. the city's mayor says people need to be warned about the dangers of firing weapons into the air. the danish cartoonist whose drawings of the prophet muhammad angered the muslim world has been attacked in his home. a man is charged with attempted murder and cnn's phil black has the details for you. >> reporter: kurt westergaard was looking after his 5-year-old granddaughter when danish police say a man broke into his home in aarhus and tried to kill him. westergaard fled to a fortified safe room and activated a panic alarm.
the police say they responded quickly. this officer says the man attacked police with an ax and a knife and they were forced to shoot him. the 28-year-old somali man who lives in denmark was later taken to court on a stretcher. he has gunshot wounds to his leg and hand. he's been charged with attempting to murder westergaard and a police officer. the danish security and intelligence service said he was already under surveillance and has connections to the somali extremist extremistist group al shabab. the images triggered an angry and often violent reaction in muslim communities and countries around the world. dozens were killed. danish embassies were attacked. muslims consider all depiction of the prophet offensive. danish police say they have disrupted other plots to kill
kurt westergaard and they're aware of the constant threat against him. but in this case, they had no indication an attack was imminent. phil black, cnn, london. wrong place at the wrong time. you could say that's what happened to a california school board member and five friends were at a restaurant in a mexican town when they were kidnapped. their bodies were found days later shot to death. the mayor of el monte california where salcedo served on the school board spoke of his character. >> bobby was a natural born leader from a very young age. he was student body president of mountain view high school, he went to boies state. wherever he went, he was leading. he took that leadership role back to this community and did so many wonderful things. >> the killing of those six men is just the latest example of the murder rampage taking place
there. drug related deaths in mexico set a record this past year. especially in juarez across the border from el paso. the government has not released official figures but the unofficial count shows 7600 mexicans lost their lives last year. more than 2500 of those deaths happened right in juarez. an orphan finds happiness through a chance encounter, a new life, a new family, after a good samaritan intervened. a last host at tavern on the green, i was there almost there at the time it closed and now take a look, we'll go back and take a look for you at the restaurant that shut down, maybe for good. we'll update you. 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" !
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a smoky smell in the cockpit forced a delta flight to turn around and head back to above then this morning. delta flight 1379 was airborne for eight minutes, bound for new york city, when the pilot decided to turn back. the odor had dissipated by the time the plane and its 34 passengers returned to the gate at logan international airport. delta says its pilot was acting out of an abundance of safety. american airlines is under the faa's microscope after the
carrier racked up three botched landings in less than two weeks. you're looking at video of the worst of the incidents when a jet overran a runway in jamaica injuring 91 passengers. that came a few days after a plane slid off the side of a north carolina runway. on christmas eve, an md-80 struck its wing tip, its wing while landing in texas. american airlines is said to be cooperating with that federal investigation. take a look at the beautiful skyline of new york city where temperatures are plummeting here tonight. i believe it is 14 degrees windchill and getting colder and colder and colder. there you go. that's mutual new york building right there. and the thermometer on top, temperatures in fahrenheit and celsius, 14 degrees fahrenheit and minus 9 celsius. there is the gwb, the george washington bridge. beautiful night but very cold. flags are at half-staff here. i'm going to tell you why because percy sutton was one of
the nation's most prominent african-american political and business leaders during the civil rights era. new york city mayor michael bloomberg paused to remember him during his inauguration speech just yesterday. take a listen. >> as we look at our flags still flying at half-staff, let us join in honoring and thanking a true civil rights pioneer and a legendary public servant and a great new yorker, percy sutton. [ applause ] >> well, sutton, a civil rights activist, a lawyer and once the highest ranking black elected official in new york city died the day after christmas. he was 89 years old. his memorial service is wednesday at riverside church in manhattan. the president also releasing a statement about percy sutton, mourning his death as well. new year's eve may have been the last hoorah for an iconic new york city restaurant. everyone heard of tavern on the green. it has gone dark. i was saddened by the news.
well wishers are gathering to toast the eatery. i stopped by if i could get one last meal there. what a party on new year's eve at the world famous tavern on the green. and just hours later, it is friday, 12:30, just after noon, tavern on the green. let's see if we can have some lunch here. not happening. the american icon off new york's central park is no more. not open. the end of an era. americans have been in love with tavern since it opened in the 1930s. >> the last time i found out, ghost busters." rick moranis running around the outside right before he gets eaten by the lion. >> reporter: and tavern on the green and weddings go together too. ask ruth ann warren, married here in the 1980s. >> i had a beautiful dress t was modeled after diana, princess
diana, gorgeous white gown, french lace, and had a white horse and carriage here. beautiful memories, you know? >> reporter: was whhat does it to you? >> it is sad for know see this -- i didn't believe when i heard it wouldn't be open anymore. it is a landmark of new york. i can't understand how they couldn't save it. i still think that it will always be tavern on the green. >> it will always be tavern on the green. it is iconic. it is a landmark. sad to see it go. hopefully it will open up again, maybe with the same name, maybe with a new one. they're trying to work that out in court. the restaurant shut early yesterday for at least six months. but the future is still very much up in the air. tavern's new operator has yet to sign a contract with the restaurant's landlord which is the city's department of park and recreation. before we move on, some of you had been tweeting about it. someone said yes, i have been at tavern on the green, went there for my high school senior prom in 2008, beautiful, food was okay, though.
decor made it worth it and someone said, i wanted to go for my birthday but everything went wrong. are you there now? so jealous. i'm in new york, but not at tavern on the green. hopefully we'll open back up. we wish them luck. a bowl promise from a man who has paid the price for defying the iranian regime. opposition leader mousavi says he's willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for what he believes in. coach, you look great. wow, coach, you really are back in the game. i took your advice, dan,
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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. the failed christmas day terror attack was a stark reminder of al qaeda's ultimate goals. that's the word from a top government official who says al qaeda is testing u.s. defenses as they plan to launch an attack on u.s. soil. the director of the national counterterrorism center says u.s. officials know with absolute certainty that would be terrorists are working to refine their methods. after three days of rain and mudslides, rescuers were pulling
bodies from beneath huge mountains of mud and dirt in brazil. the coastal city has been especially hit hard. rescue teams are on duty around the clock, but hope is fading for survivors. 64 people have been killed in the southeastern part of that country. the danish cartoonist kurt westergaard whose drawings of the prophet muhammad angered the muslim world attacked in his own home. the suspect an ax wielding somali man with suspected ties to al qaeda. he is charged, he's been charged with attempted murder. westergaard escaped to a so-called panic room in his house. now efforts have been stepped up to protect him. he's been moved to an undisclosed location. iran's opposition is battered and bloody, but still refusing to be silenced. on friday the politician whose campaign for president sparked the recent protests raised against the regime's efforts to subdue protesters. the family of mir hossein mousavi paid a price for his
steadfast opposition when his nephew was killed last sunday. areza is watching all the protests. we're talking about this months ago during the first protests. they're happening again. what is going on now? >> we haven't seen any videos of protests over the last 48 hours. that does not mean things aren't happening behind the scenes, lots of maneuvering going on the side of the opposition movement and iran's hard-line leadership. this after the demonstrations on sunday that left at least seven protesters dead. iran's government says most of these killed were either killed by accident or they were killed by opposition groups, staged deaths in order to spark more unrest. now today we have new developments about one of those killed on monday, his name amir tajmir, the son of a well known
anchor. you see pictures of him. according to an opposition website, he was run over by a security vehicle on sunday. now government officials, according to this website, are pressuring his mother to say that his death was an accident. they're also saying that they're threatening his mother by losing her job if she doesn't cooperate. more threats coming from iran's hard-line leaders. this time ayatollah ahmad jonatei. in his speech he blasted key opposition figures and their supporters saying that they're enemies of god, suggesting that they should be executed. if that didn't escalate things, this did. a statement by iran's opposition leader mir hossein mousavi, his first public statement, saying he's ready to die. i'm not afraid of being one of the post election martyrs who lost their lives in their struggle for the rightful demands. my blood is no different from
that of other martyrs. don, there you see both sides digging in, not backing down. look for this face-off to continue to escalate. >> man, oh, man. thank you very much. we appreciate it. stand by on our iran desk f video comes out of iran, we'll bring it to you here on cnn. i'm talking to someone here and someone else about all of this, so let's go to them real quick. holly debassy, a professor of iranian studies at colombian university. you're both very knowledgeable on this subject. real quickly, mr. debassy, i'll get to you in a second, kareem, tell me about staging deaths. what is going on here? >> that is the bizarrest thing that can come. how can you stage your death? what we're witnessing is a
revolution in journalism. the running over of demonstrators by the government held security apparatus has been caught on a tape and has been broadcast around the globe, on cnn as well. and the security apparatus has been caught off guard. they didn't know the world would actually see this. they initially came and said well, first of all, we don't know if this video authentic. then blamed it on foreign element. now the third story that this is staged. >> hang on one second. wasn't to go to kareem. kareem, when you see this here, we spoke so extensively during the initial uprising after that contested election. fear that this is going to get out of control or maybe as bad as during the initial election? >> well, don, again, these videos really underscore for you the brutality of the iranian government and the tremendous courage of the iranian people.
back when we talked in june, a lot of skeptics said this opposition movement is limited to the elite youth of northern tehran and is soon going to fizzle out. we see six months later how strong it is it maintained its momentum and how it is happening. not only in tehran, but throughout the country and i think the protesters really transcend age, geographic location and socioeconomic class. >> hold it there real quick. you talk about in tehran and here, there is a huge iranian community, huge iranian-american community. is it a cohesive community? do they have as much power as iranians in tehran, in iran, to affect change there? and if not, what can they do? >> you're talking about the iranian community outside of tehran -- >> yeah, the iranian community here. we had a discussion about the iranian community on the social networking sites and e-mails.
when it comes to people being cohesive or banning together, i'm not sure if that's effectual here in the states. >> what i would say, don there is an expression in persian, we have awakened. the iranians in the diaspora and there is 4 million outside of iran and 1 million in the united states. i would argue they have been more awakened and more united and more politically informed than ever before in the 30-year history of the islamic republic. every day when i encounter people, whether through the internet or people i meet on the streets, they're always asking about how they can help. i think that certainly within that diaspora community there is a united end goal to see more tolerant, democratic iran. >> even you're shaking your head, thank you very much for that answer, kareem. you're shaking your head here as well. i'll let you talk about that real quickly what kareem said and i'll ask you another question about ahmadinejad. >> over the last 30 years, don, the islamic republic created its
own opposition, mainly mostly the monarchists and the mujahadin. they're not players. there are as unpopular in iran. the overwhelming majority of iranians both inside iran and outside iran are for this vast democratic grassroots civil rights movement. and the community enu.community north america and europe are as much a part of this uprising. >> i want it to be a conversation here. i happen to figure -- this is one of the most important stories of our time if there is a democracy if ahmadinejad is taken out of power. before we go and talk a little bit, do you think ahmadinejad will be taken out of power if you believe he's a puppet, he's between khomeini and mir hossein mousavi, in the middle but really has no power? >> from the beginning he has not
been a player, particularly over the last three months. he's no longer a figure. your concentration, the world attention on this issue is absolutely extraordinary and necessary. because the very unique phenomenon, don, is a nonviolent civil rights movement in the context of a very violent context and the implication of this, given the demographic aspect of this movement, 80% of the population is under the age of 40. 50% of it is under the age of 25. the reason that it has this global resonance is precisely that you have a nonviolent civil rights uprising, mostly charged by young people. >> young educated people with the tools to go online. >> the class -- the social strata that underlies it is really widespread, not tehran based, not upper class, none of that. it is really spreading all over the country. >> and kareem, i understand that most -- most iranian americans who live -- i think most of their money goes home to people
who are in iran, right? but the question is, and i've heard from even iranian-americans who say we get online a lot, we get online and talk a great game. we talk -- we have big talk. and i believe you're right. i believe people have awakened, kareem. but i'm not sure if there is a cohesion here in the united states where it is a democracy already to affect change over there. talk about that, kareem. maybe it is building. maybe it is building and it is not there yet. >> don, i think the goodwill certainly exists, people really want to see a more tolerant democratic iran and i like the doctor's idea of a civil rights movement. that's essentially what this is. and, you know, i think that people are at a loss sometimes to know what it is that they can do. they're always asking what can we do? we have financial means. we have media means. what is it that question do specifically? i think what the doctor talks
about in terms of media attention and expressing solidarity with iranian people, to let people in iran know that they're not alone,that eyes of the world are on the leadership and the brie tallet . >> we're hoping that obviously that there is change, something is done where people don't get hurt is a better way of putting it. if you look at this story tonight and moving forward, do you see more unrest as to -- i'll ask kareem, do you see more unrest to come here? >> the regime and in particular the supreme leader ayatollah khomeini believe you never compromise under pressure because that projects weakness and will invite more pressure. i don't see the regime showing any signs of compromise or conciliation. on the other hand, i don't see the opposition relenting. the morale of the opposition is
only increasing. i am hopeful about the prospects for change iran, more democratic tolerant iran. i do fear the regime's penchant for more brutality in the months ahead. >> thank you. final words on this, if you can take us into the future a little bit, just a few seconds left here. >> this is a matter of thought. this is not going to be finish by a pulling down of a wall or anything. whether they get it or not is hard to know. >> what does this mean for america? what does it mean for the world? we know what it means to the people in iran. >> what it means for americans is the rise of a civil rights movement, very similar to american civil rights movement, with which we can identify immediately. number one -- >> that's the reason why i -- >> number two is the change of the language, of violence in the region from suicide or homicidal violence into a civil rights movement which is constitutionally nonviolent.
as a result, for martin luther king to gandhi has now become very relevant to this civil rights movement. and this is the reason that americans should pay attention. >> thank you, all, very much. we went four minutes long because it was such a great conversation. thank you so much. really glad to have you. happy new year to both of you. >> happy new year, too. thank you. after all the warnings of the past week it seems impossible that airlines would drop the ball again on security but it did happen and we'll tell you why. entering the u.s. isn't easy. even foreigners who get a visa can cause a headache for the government and pose a threat to all of us. we're back in a moment. (announcer) time brings new wisdom
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since a failed terror plot on christmas day, security has been tightened across the country. that wasn't enough to prevent a lapse in the midwest yesterday. the united airlines express flight bound for chicago had to do a u-turn. airline learned after takeoff that the name of one passenger matched a name on a tsa restricted list. the mistake irritated a bunch of those passengers. >> if there was that kind of concern after it was off the ground, somebody is dropping the ball here. if we have these computer systems that check, you know, these people before they get on
thight, ey need to make sure that, you know they stay to that standard. >> gojet airlines said it realized the mistake after a computer glitch was fixed. the passenger in question wasn't actually the person on the list. christmas day terror blplot has put the visa process under the microscope. the process of deciding who gets a visa is far more -- far from perfect. far from perfect. our sandra indoe takes a closer look for us. >> reporter: with the recent attempted terror attack, the way foreign nationals enters the country is being thrust into the spotlight. there is so many different reasons and ways people can apply for a visa. for an entry into the united states, how difficult is it to get an admission ticket to the america? citizens in 35 countries don't even need a visa to gain entry as part of the visa waiver program. it allows them a maximum 90-day
stay. for those from other countries, travelers must apply for specific visas. there are temporary visas for tourists, business traveler, short-term employment, and students. each visa type allows a person to stay in america for different lengths of time. longer term visa applicants need to show strong ties to their country of origin as proof they'll return home. student visas allow a person to stay for the drauration of thei studies and foreign students attended u.s. colleges and universities last year. temporary worker visas like the h1b give a three-year stay with 100,000 issued per year. the most common tourist or business visas allow a six-month stay. immigrant visas are for those looking to become a permanent u.s. resident. those applicants need sponsors like an american relative or u.s. employer. the u.s. state department can deny a visa to individuals with criminal records, certain diseases, or suspected terrorists. the alleged detroit bomber
already had a visa, but some critic say the process needs to work better to keep the bad guys out. and that includes revoking or flagging a visa holder for secondary screening. >> the chain is as strong as its weakest link. it starts with gathering intelligence. next the dissemination of the intelligen intelligence. next it is acting on the intelligence. both at embassies and at ports of entry. >> reporter: the demands for visas to the u.s. continues to increase with 6.6 million nonimmigrant visas issued in 2008. and 237,000 immigrant visas granted in 2009. one big problem is people overstaying their visas. the department of homeland security estimates roughly 40 million people are overstaying them right now. congress is calling on the state department to revamp its visa regulations and close loopholes. in light of the christmas day plot, they are trying to find out if suspicious individuals
they're tracking also have visas and they may start automatically notifying airlines if a person's visa has been revoked. the president has a reputation of being cool as ice. so no surprise there is an equally chilly tribute to the commander in chief in the state of hawaii. we're taking your comments and question on twitter, facebook, myspace or ireport.com. send them in. we had a great discussion on iran and your tweets are coming in about them. i would love to get some on the air. ( laughs, click ) when you hear a click, ( clicking ) you know it's closed and secure. that's why hefty food bags click closed. hefty! hefty! hefty! so you know you've helped lock in freshness and lock out air... to help prevent freezer burn. be sure it's secure with hefty food bags. just one click and you know it's closed. hefty! hefty! hefty! ( click, click, click )
man. >> reporter: i guess i got to rub it in a little bit. >> is there a tan below the shirt line. >> reporter: i don't know if i can take my shirt off. maybe later in the evening. when you talk to locals here they say once you have hawaii in your blood stream it keeps calling you back. even despite the demands of the presidency this president decided to come back and make some time for some old places and also some old friends. >> water melon strawberry. >> reporter: in between intelligence briefings the president reconnected with his home state, indull jing in shave ice and other frozen treats. >> when the ice cream melts with the syrup it makes a mess. >> reporter: mr. obama used to be on the other side of the
counter at this baskin robbins in honolulu. old friends reluctantly admit the president used to give them free stuff. he used to hook you up. >> a little bit. . >> reporter: larry tavares has fond memories. i didn't know his name was barack. it was barry to us. >> reporter: they played together on the basketball team that won the state championship in 1979. larry was point guard, barry the power forward. >> it was real physical. not scared to mix it up. if you equate that to being the president, he is not scared to make a decision. >> reporter: many high school acquaintances like bart desilva lost touch with borsch so they were blown away with his
election speech and election night left many in tears. >> i got more and more excited. i couldn't believe this moment that had months and months of leading into was becoming a reality. as everybody waited for the president-elect to make his speech after being elected it became, i use the word surreal, but it was a climactic moment. >> reporter: they are fiercely protective of their friend getting fired up by all the attacks. >> you can take so much. let's go outside and take the gloves off and settle this outside. that is how i really feel. people have to be patient with him. he is doing the best he can. >> reporter: larry tavares has played basketball with the president a few times in the last couple of years. he is a trash talker on the court. i asked larry for an example and he said that stays in the gym. these are old friends who want to stay friends.
>> i'm ignoring you, ed, because you are there. just kidding. what is this we are hearing about snowbama? >> reporter: they have this thing called shave ice. it is like a snow cone. they call it shave ice in hawaii. they have ice cream and they throw syrup. one of the president loves to go is the snowbama named after him. it has specific flavors. when the president was asked what he ordered yesterday by an abc producer john garcia he got tough on it. take a listen to this exchange here. >> lemon lime, cherry and passion orange. passion guava.
sorry. >> reporter: that is not the snowbama. >> i got the snowbama. >> it is the snowbama. >> i don't know if you caught that. the president glared through his sunglasses. the press corps has been giving him a hard time. the president said if i order it, it is the snowbama. a rare unscripted moment. >> he is the snowbama. >> president bush said i'm the decider. i'm the snowbama. >> how long are you there till? >> probably heading home on monday. i'm going to soak it in for 48 more hours. i'm going to rub it in, don. i'm sorry. >> i just put you on my tweet saying, thanks, you all.
so jealous of ed henry cnn. >> i saw you on new year's eve. you looked cold. i was at waikiki beach. i felt your pain. >> i got to hang out with poppy harlow. it wasn't that bad, my friend. trust me. happy new year, okay. >> happy new year. >> ed henry and i have been talking about tweets. we are going to take some of your comments. don't go away. show and tell... with all the pet hair in the air my eyes would really itch. but now i have new zyrtec® itchy eye drops. no other allergy itchy eye drop works faster or longer.
all right. feedback time from twitter, myspace and facebook. i find it fascinating and frustrating that action needs to be taken against iran even though many of its people don't agree. shmangy says don, thank you for your great coverage of iran. is there a clip? we will replay it 10:00 eastern. where is ed henry? he is in hawaii. i'm mad at him. the jerk. just kidding. we love ed henry. we will see you at 10:00 eastern. g