Skip to main content

tv   American Morning  CNN  December 28, 2009 6:00am-9:00am EST

6:00 am
terror incident on northwest flight on christmas day. that suspect was on the government's radar. a source says he had enough explosives to blow a hole in the side of the plane. so, why was he allowed on it? we're live in washington this morning. >> plus, a second scare, the same flight, same airport, sends emergency crews and bomb-sniffing dogs to greet the plane on the tarmac. this time there was no real danger but security is being ramped up for flights across the country. what to expect if you're heading to the airport this morning. and protesters with car horns blairing clogged the streets of tehran last night after a day of violence that left at least eight dead, including the nephew of opposition leader mir hossein mousavi. people may be putting their lives on the line to get the story out to you. we're getting the latest information. but first this morning, disturbing new details into the alleged terror incident over detroit on christmas day. right now the suspect, umar farouk abdulmutallab is in a federal prison.
6:01 am
a court hearing is scheduled for today but he is not expected to attend. at the same time, president obama is ordering a security review to find out how the suspect got a bomb past security in nigeria and amsterdam. friday's scare resulting in new rules in the air and on the ground for millions of travelers and so many aren't sure what to expect on their returning flights. this morning, we'll break it all down for you. allan chernoff in detroit where this scare sparked a false alarm on another flight, but first, let's start with our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve live in washington with the latest information this morning. jeanne? >> reporter: randi, a source familiar with the investigation says the device made with the explosive petn, was powerful enough to have blown a hole in the side of the plane and taken it down. had it worked properly or passengers and crew not responded so quickly, the results could have been catastrophic. the over arching question remains how did it get on the aircraft? president obama wants to know
6:02 am
and has ordered a review of screening technologies used in airport security. in addition, he has ordered up a review of watch lists. how they're put together and maintained. umar farouk abdulmutallab's father went to the u.s. embassy in nigeria and raid concerns about his son's radicalization and although his name was placed in a database he was not prohibited from flying or given additional scrutiny. officials say that's because the information from the father wasn't specific or credible enough, but the review will try to determine if the criteria for classifying people and the risks they pose needs to be revamped. back to you, randi. >> jeanne, i understand there are some questions being asked about the air marshals after all this. >> right. we're told by the department of homeland security that the use or an official with the department of homeland security, that the use of federal air marshals has increased significantly since the events of christmas day. vacations have been canceled, instructors and administrators
6:03 am
are being put in the air. a government official tells cnn there was no air marshall on the same amsterdam to detroit flight yesterday when a sick passenger raised serious security concerns for several hours. representative peter king says this was a clear failure of judgment and i'm quoting here, there was a terrible mistake, it makes you wonder what in the world the administration is living in, if there was any flight that should have had an air marshall on board it was the northwest flight coming out of amsterdam to detroit. in addition, dhs secretary napolitano is being criticized for some comments she made yesterday about air marshals on cnns a "state of the union." >> there's also reports out there there was budget cuts in the u.s. marshall program and that's why there wasn't a u.s. marshall on the plane. >> the federal air marshals are part of our system and, indeed, we share them and we share them -- they are posted randomly on different flights and as far as i know, on this flight, there
6:04 am
was not one, but that was not the result of budget cuts. that's just a result of the fact that he happened to be on an airplane that didn't have one. >> but current and former air marshals say the secretary is not correct. while air marshall assignments do have an element of randomness, assignments are largely based on intelligence and analysis of which flights are most vulnerable. back to you. >> jeanne me serve on top of this story, thank you. we'll dig deeper into the alleged terrorist's past when we talk to kem my, a form journalist in nigeria, who's been in touch with the suspect's family. a second scare on the same flight brought detroit's airport to a standstill yesterday. passengers on the northwest flight 253 watched as their luggage was emptied out on the tarmac and sniffed by bomb-sniffing dogs. officials say it turned out to be nothing serious. allan chernoff is live at detroit's metro airport working on this developing story. good morning, alan. >> good morning, joe.
6:05 am
the false alarm shows how on edge airline crews and law enforcement are after the attempted bombing on christmas day. as you said, it was the same flight, northwest 253, amsterdam to detroit, a man described as a nigerian spent much of the flight in the bathroom. that raised the suspicion of the crew. the pilot contacted his dispatcher at the airline and they told law enforcement, meet us once we arrive at detroit. >> the crew became suspicious or concerned because this individual kept going into the bathroom and then he wouldn't respond and then he wouldn't come out. they radioed it in right away. at that point when the plane landed, he was taken into custody by both the airport police and federal officials. >> reporter: the plane was surrounded by law enforcement. law enforcement came on board and obviously for the
6:06 am
passengers, it was quite concerning. >> about an hour and a half before we came in, they said everybody's got to sit down, stay in their seats, nobody goes to the bathroom or anything like that, no standing up. so after all that, we just said okay. i figured it just came from december 25th thing that happened. >> when they said they got somebody -- they're going to take somebody off that was a little panicky. this is great. and then when i saw the police outside the window, i said, huh-uh. >> reporter: fortunately it turned out to be a false alarm. a passenger actually was sick, had food poisoning and why he spent much of the flight in the bathroom. nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, law enforcement, nonetheless, checked out the entire aircraft. it was screened. the baggage also was rescreened. the passengers sat on that plane
6:07 am
for a good number of hours and -- but fortunately everything was okay and that man who was detained was released last night and allowed to continue on to his final destination undisclosed by the way. joe? >> allan chernoff in detroit, thanks so much for that. looks cold out there this morning. and stay with us. this alleged terror plot casting a spotlight on yemen, a poor nation with lawless areas prime for breeding terrorists. what can be done to combat terror there? we'll talk about it with our national security analyst. new this morning, another air scare in phoenix. the fbi says it released two men after being questioned by anti-terrorism authorities. official say passengers on a u.s. airways flight from orlando to phoenix said they were acting suspiciously. both were described as middle eastern and speaking loudly to each other in a foreign language. car horns blared across the streets of tehran last night as protesters clogged the streets following a day of deadly
6:08 am
violence. iran's state run television saying at least eight people were killed in riots in tehran and other cities in the religious holy day of ashoura. tehran said more than ten of the victims were members of the anti-revolutionary groups. opposition leader mir hossein mousavi's nephew was among the victims. this amateur youtube video claims to show his body, but cnn could not immediately verify that. the violence is the deadliest since iran's disputed elections in june. and checking the time for you right now. it's about 6:08. a quick check of this morning's weather headlines. >> and we're going to turn to reynolds wolf in the extreme weather center. good morning, reynolds. >> good morning, guys. a lot of people will be enjoying an extended holiday, so to speak. for the millions of americans that have to go out and about by going to air travel or making on the roads you to know about the forecast. we're going to pinpoint one area we'll have a bit of concern in terms of snowfall. parts of the northeast where it looks like towards the finger
6:09 am
lakes region and upstate new york you can see from now through tomorrow afternoon up to a foot of snow in some places. coming up, we're going to let you know how that may affect your travel coming up in a few moments. sit tight. let's kick it back to you guys at the desk in new york. >> i would say a foot of snow would affect your travel. >> more than a little bit, yeah. tendency to do that. >> we'll check back with you. >> thanks, reynolds. much more ahead this morning. we're learning more about the man behind the detroit scare. coming up we'll talk to a friend of his family in nigeria.
6:10 am
[ crowd gasps ] [ announcer ] if you think about it, this is a lot like most job search sites. - they let everyone in, - [ crowd groans ] so the best people can't stand out. join theladders.com. the premium job site for only $100k+ jobs... and only $100k+ talent.
6:11 am
it's 11 minutes past the hour. and that means it's time for an "am original" something you'll only see on "american morning."
6:12 am
a quick check of what's new this morning. >> returning to our developing story and the investigation of what may have allegedly driven umar farouk abdulmutallab to dry to blow northwest flight 253 out of the sky. joining me kemy a former journalist in nigeria, in touch with the suspect's family and knows them well. good morning, kemmy. >> good morning, randi. nice to hear from you again. >> how well do you know the suspect's family and have you had a chance to speak with them since this incident occurred? >> i know you did describe me as a friend to the family. i'm not technically a friend to the family. i know the father very well. i know the dad very well. and i spoke to a member of the family over the weekend who was actually connected to me through some high-level media people in nigeria who i spoke to a close member of the family who spoke to me on condition of anonymity and the information he gave me was very, very serious, concrete information. >> what did he tell you? >> umaru mutallab, the father of the accused, and mutallab is a
6:13 am
well known figure in nigeria. he was the first bank chairman, first bank, oldest bank in nigeria and was the chairman for years. a very caring, loving father who is also very caring about the community. probably one of the oldest banks left after the bank crisis in the '90s and he made sure he saved people's money and losing all their savings. he cares about people. >> tell me how he's handling this story about -- in the news about his son? >> he's very, very upset. this young man has brought him shame. he has brought the country shame. we have a lot of problems in nigeria, many nigeriaen accept problems and some don't want to accept it. we have a problem of extremism and radical behavior in nigeria, particularly in the north. no one is saying muslims are the only ones that are radical but we have to face the truth. this kind of behavior has cost
6:14 am
so much in nigeria. the miss world pageant they had to move that because of all the fighting and radical behavior. >> do you know what made his father think that he was looking to do jihad or had been radicalized? >> that is so unheard of. randi, everyone is talking about this. if my children were radicalized i don't know if i would even tell the school principal. this man didn't go to the british embassy, didn't go to the italian or yemeni he went to the u.s. embassy for god's sake and something could have been done. i am in canada and this plane was about to blow up on canadian air space. ctv telling me this drama started right here and if that plane had landed or blown up, you know, on top of windsor, windsor, ontario, bordering detroit, we would have had the same thing as pan am 103. pan-am 103 blew up on top of scotland and people have to know when this man went to the embassy, something is missing and i'm appealing to janet
6:15 am
napolitano, head of homeland security, miss napolitano is an excellent individual who needs to dig further. >> we're going to be speaking with her later. we appreciate your insight as well and thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you for having me. have a good morning. coming up, we're minding your business. there's actually more good news for the economy. apparently people actually spent just a little bit more money this christmas season. >> we're going to break it all down for everybody, i guess. medicare.
6:16 am
6:17 am
it doesn't cover everything.
6:18 am
it's 18 minutes after the hour. that means time for minding your business. >> all eyes on apple this morning. the company's stock will open at an all-time high this morning after rumors it is set to announce its next blockbuster, the tablet computer. it's described as a cross between a laptop and the ipod touch. bloggers are already calling it the islate and that domain name is already gone. of course, apple is saying nothing until an expected announcement on january 26th. las vegas is trying to keep the high rollers rolling longer. two sin city casinos are opening new hotel towers today.
6:19 am
planet hollywood is opening more than 1200 rooms in the planet hollywood towers while the hard rock hotel is adding nearly 400 rooms in the hard rock hotel tower. executives say they're both gunning for the upscale visitor. and speaking of upscale visitors -- >> very nice. >> nice. >> i like that. >> stephanie is here. >> not scripted. >> absolutely. >> off the cuff. >> that's for sure. it may have been a very merry christmas or a pretty merry christmas -- >> how about merrier than last year? >> anything. >> that's saying much. >> if you take it to account the fact that there was that massive winter storm the last weekend before christmas, i know retailers are probably like biting their nails. looks like things have turned out okay for them. let's take a look at what we're talking about here. 3.6%, that's what sales were up for the period of november 1st through december 24th. there's actually one extra day in that period, so they're saying if you factor out that day it's better than by 1%. last year it was down 3.4%. that was really, really painful. people had not adjusted their
6:20 am
inventories, had too much product out there, people were dire, dire straits, so that was really hard. if you take a look at that, unemployment still very high in this country, double-digit unemployment, things are a little more stable this year. on-line sales rose 15.5%. a lot of that fueled by the fact that people just couldn't go anywhere the last weekend, so that last weekend before christmas really helped out there. still making up less than 10% of all retail sales. electronic sales were up nearly 6%. take a look at jewelry sales too. on the upside here by 5.6%, but compared to last year, when they were down nearly 30%, that's much better. clearly. a apparel still weak. department store sales down 2.3%. gift cards don't look that strong which could be an indication of what could happen in january. i went to the mall a few times while out in california, right by stanford university, got a parking space easily every day. i don't know if that's because they're all google people and
6:21 am
they order everything on-line but it was easy goat a parking spot. >> at a risk of getting hate mail from some retailers people are saying they're out shopping for bargains and seeing a lot of junk into part of the issue, people saw that the inventories were adjusted. last year they had too much on the shelves. this year they did not put as much on the shelves and because of that, if you didn't get out early to get what you wanted, ouch, you couldn't find it. that's part of the issue for a lot of people too. people going back now and exchanging and hoping to get what they wanted. >> no zhuzhu pets. >> i keep hearing about those things. >> i know. they're battery-operated rats. >> why does anyone want that? . please explain. >> i tried to find them. >> welcome anyone to come to new york city, visit the subway. we have our own brand of them. they're great. you don't need to do that. >> all right. thank you so much, stephanie. >> thanks. >> all right. much more ahead this morning. will yemen become the next front in the war on terror? we're digging deeper. and wet
6:22 am
6:23 am
6:24 am
news in the morning. friday's alleged terror attack means big changes for you in the air and on security lines. our jim acosta is live with the new rules in just a moment. >> first a cnn exclusive. the hero passenger who took down the terror suspect. dutch filmmaker jasper shirin ga revealed to fredricka whitfield what happened aboard flight 253. >> did you help take the image
6:25 am
or did you also help subdue the suspect? which is it? >> basically, like i reacted on the bang and then suddenly there was like smoke in the cabin and people were screaming, fire, fire, and the first thing we like all did is to check where the fire was. so -- and then i saw the suspect and he was on the seat. >> how many rows back were you? >> sorry? >> how many rows back? you were behind the suspect when this smoke -- >> i was on the right side of the plane and the suspect was on the left. there were quite some seats in between. when i saw that suspect, he was getting on fire and i freaked, of course, and without any hesitation, i jumped over all the seats and jumped to the suspect because i was thinking like, he's trying to blow up the plane and so i was trying to search his body for any
6:26 am
explosives and then i took some kind of object that was already melting and smoking out of him and i tried to put out the fire and then when i did that, i was also restraining the suspect. then the fire started beneath his seat. so i waved my hands and everything. you can see it's a little burned. i put out the fire and then other passengers helped me as well. of course i was screaming for "water water" because we had fire in the plane is not that good, of course. and so -- but then the fire was actually getting a little worse because of what i did, i did extinguish the fire. i grabbed the suspect out of the seat because if he was wearing any more explosives, it would be very dangerous because he was almost on fire. and when i grabbed him from the seat, the chemical came and they came with fire extinguishers and they got the flames and just to
6:27 am
be sure, like i grabbed him with other attendants and we took him to first class and there we stripped him and contained him with handcuffs and we made sure he had no more weapons, no more bombs on him. >> that's our fredricka whitfield talking to jasper shirrringa. big changes in the sky and on the ground since friday's attempted attack. the transportation security administration says these changes are already in place, but won't be more specific. some will be different, depending on the airport. what are they and how do they affect the way you fly? our jim acosta joining us now live from washington. good morning, jim. >> good morning, joe. you know the message from the tsa this morning appears to be expect the unexpected and that is for good reason. the tsa says they don't want folks to actually know what is coming at them when they get to the airport over the next several days. and originally it was thought this was only going to affect people flying on those international flights but it's
6:28 am
also affecting those domestic flights as well and whether you're traveling at lax or laguardia or d.c. national airport, reagan national airport outside of washington, you may encounter some long lines and we're hearing that from passengers across the country this morning. . >> the last hour we come in, we had to make sure we were seated, had nothing on our lap, no pillows or blankets. it was a bit strange i thought, but i think precaution for them. >> the only thing that was different was that coming into the plane in mexico city, they search all of our bags individually, the security guys, and then they searched us like a body search, each one of us. >> reporter: and so what are some of these changes that are going to be happening over the next several days? passengers should be ready for extra pat-downs and security. that is something that passengers have not seen in a very long time. not only an the security screening areas as you enter the gate areas, but sometimes at the
6:29 am
gates themselves. so be ready for that. what also may be happening to passengers, they may be told that they can't have items in their laps. one hour before landing on their flights. that is something that we're not just hearing on international flights, but from travelers on those domestic flights as well. that's something we haven't really seen a whole lot of since 9/11, so that is a brand new change for many, many travelers out there. they may not see that one coming. and then also this one is not going to go over well with a lot of passengers out there over the next several days, you may not be able to get up on your flight one hour before landing. we're hearing some anecdotal evidence that is happening on domestic flights as well. keep in mind, that these changes are not going to happen at every airport and on every flight. these changes are going to vary according to tsa officials depending on what flight you're on and that is on purpose. they want people to sort of expect the unexpected, not see these changes coming, and the idea is, joe, is to keep the bad
6:30 am
guys off guard when they're getting on those flights. they don't want to know -- they don't want anybody getting on these flights to cause trouble to know what may be coming. joe? >> that's our jim acosta, live in washington, d.c., this morning, thanks so much, jim. it is 6:30, that means time for this morning's top stories. sources tell cnn the suspect in the alleged terror plot on christmas day had enough explosives on him to blow a hole in the northwest aircraft. this morning, the suspect, umar farouk abdulmutallab is out of the hospital and being held at a federal prison south of detroit. there is a hearing set for this afternoon, though abdulmutallab is not expected to attend that. president obama is expected to make a statement this morning on the alleged terror incident. the administration promts promising tighting screening procedures now. passengers flying into the u.s. can expect increased pat-downs and have to remain seated a full hour before landing. another deadly suicide attack in pakistan. police say a second blast in
6:31 am
karachi in less than 24 hours killed at least eight people and wounded 30. the target was a shiite religious procession. returning to our developing story, and the alleged attempt to bomb northwest flight 253. the 23-year-old nigerian suspect was known to authorities, yet he was still able to board a flight with explosives. we're also learning yemen, a lawless place just south of saudi arabia, may have played a role in the christmas day plot. joining me now live, peter bergen, a national security analyst for cnn. peter, good morning. >> good morning, joe. >> were you surprised at all to hear this suspect allegedly had ties to al qaeda and yemen as well? >> in the slightest, joe. although this is a new development in the sense that the al qaeda affiliate in yemen has, you know, attacked american targets, "uss cole," the u.s. embassy on a number of occasions, also attacked western targets in saudi arabia. what is new here, is an out of
6:32 am
area operation. similar to the kind of thing that al qaeda central might launch from its base on the afghan/pakistan tribal regions. so this -- this is new, but the fact that it reaches back to yemen is -- i don't think it's surprising. and the modus operandi of this guy and the detroit plot is similar to an attack that happened in saudi arabia on august 28th when an al qaeda member tried to kill prince mu ham med who is the leader of the security forces in the saudi kingdom. concealed plastic explosives, specifically petn, in his clothing. that got through metal detectors, blew it up, killed himself, did not manage to assassinate the saudi prince who was the target, but this looks very much like a dry run for what we already saw for -- in detroit and i would not be surprised if the same al qaeda cell in yemen did both of these attacks and perhaps even the same bombmakers, as making a petn bomb, military-glaeds
6:33 am
explosives, not something you can pick up on the internet. something a skilled bomber would make. >> petn is essentially something you see again and again associated with al qaeda. >> yeah. also we saw it in the richard reid attack eight years ago, almost exactly, when in his sneakers he had a petn detonated bomb which obviously didn't luckily go off the way he wanted it to. and it's actually not something you do see in a lot of terrorist attacks. we have seen it as an al qaeda signature. so that also really reinforces for me this will be traced back to al qaeda in yemen, joe. >> another thing, the alleged ft. hood shooter reportedly had ties to a radical cleric in yemen, "uss cole" was bombed in a port in yemen back in 2000. how significant is the presence of terror networks like al qaeda in yemen? is this something the american government is becoming increasingly concerned about? >> well, i think the american
6:34 am
government has been concerned about it since at least 1998 when a group of americans were kidnapped there along with other western tourists. that became very pronounced after the 2000 "cole" attack and getting more pronounced now. we've heard from david petraeus who has been over there recently, the head of centcom, the military command for all countries in the middle east. we've had high-level visits by john brennan, president obama's counter terrorism advisor. a lot of discussions with the yemeni government about returning guantanamo detainees, some of whom have returned to the battlefield. one of the leaders of al qaeda in yemen is a guantanamo releasy. he may have been killed in a recent air strike. the air strike was undoubtedly done with u.s. intelligence help. there's some level of cooperation with the yemenis. the yemeni government has two civil wars going on effectively it has to deal with. it's a very poor country, a very weak central government, heavily
6:35 am
armed population, very tribal, geographically, top graphically, looks a lot like afghanistan. it's bin laden's home country. that's where his family originates from. it's sort of a place that al qaeda finds pretty amenable to be located in. >> there's also been talk about this latest suspect being on a watch list. could you give us some idea once and for all about the difference between a watch list and a no-fly list and why he wasn't on the no-fly list? >> well, no-fly list, you know, is you cannot fly anywhere and that is a pretty small list. the database this guy was on, numbers up to 500,000 people, that could get you into being a select ee for secondary screening, that didn't happen with this guy. if he had a real secondary screening, full pat-down, swabs for explosives, this explosive device would have shown up. you know, the universe of people
6:36 am
on the tide database is very large. people on the no-fly list is very small. the problem might have been, you know, the fact that his father had flagged him as a potential problem to the u.s. embassy in nigeria, you know, that isn't necessary to get you on the no-fly list. but unfortunately, what should have really happened with this guy, you know, he should have been put into secondary at amsterdam airport. clearly that didn't happen. >> peter bergen you've been doing double and triple duty since this story broke. appreciate that. a great resource for cnn. >> thank you, joe. massive protests in iran. the government cracks down. we'll get the latest on the situation in a live report. plus, the investigation into the detroit terror scare stretches to london. what police are searching for inside the suspect's home. would you like a pony ? yeah ! ( cluck, cluck, cluck ) oh, wowww !
6:37 am
that's fun ! you didn't say i could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to hold out on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank that alerts you when your money could be working harder and earning more. it's just the right thing to do. .
6:38 am
6:39 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. we're covering all sides of the alleged terror incident on a northwest airlines flight over detroit saturday. >> in london, british police combing through suspect umar farouk abdulmutallab's last known address. britain's home secretary has confirmed that he was denied a
6:40 am
student visa and placed on a uk watch list back in 2008. the worldwide resources of cnn take us to phil black live in london with the latest on the international investigation. good morning, phil. >> good morning, randi. for a third day police now working in an apartment in the building behind me. this was the last-known address of abdulmutallab when he lived in london as an engineering student. this is between september 2005 and june 2008. he studied here and police are working with security agencies to essentially build a picture of his life in this city during that period of time to determine to what extent, if any, he was influenced to carry out the christmas day attack. was he radicalized or recruited during that time? these are the sorts of things that police are working to try and establish. the suspicion by the british government is that this was not an attack that he carried out alone. the question though is, does he have accomplices that could
6:41 am
still be in this city? as you mentioned the british government has confirmed following a failed visa application, this is after he left the country as a student, he wanted to come back to study again, or so he said, made an application. that application for that visa was rejected on the grounds the college he claimed to be studying at simply didn't exist. as a result, part of standard british policy, he was placed on a watch list and we are told that information should have been shared with u.s. agencies. >> it seems as though he led a pretty privileged life stile. what are you able to tell us in terms of his life before all of this happened? >> he learnly did lead a privileged lifestyle from a wealth yes family in nigeria, he studied at a school in africa, while studying there, he took a number of school excursions to london. we have images taken by a schoolteacher back then of him standing in front of buckingham palace, in front of british parliament. the teacher that we've spoken to
6:42 am
says that even back then, he was a fiercely religious young man. he was devote. his nickname among his classmates was the pope, which is unusual for a muslim, but because he had this saintly err about him. he was considered intelligent, tremendous potential, but even at that stage he showed sympathy for extremist thinking and in class discussion was known to advocate and defend extremist movements like the taliban. his teacher at the time thought that would be a phase, that he would eventually grow out of. >> fascinating detail given the charges he's looking at today. phil black for us live in london, thank you. another developing story this morning, iran's state-run television saying at least eight people were killed in riots in tehran and other cities during yesterday's religious holy day of ashoura. iran claims many of the victims were members of anti-revolutionary terrorist groups and today, arrested several aides to opposition leader mir hossein mousavi.
6:43 am
according to an opposition website. mousavi's nephew was among the victims. this amateur youtube video claims to show his body, but cnn could not immediately verify that. a lot of people wondering this morning will the death toll rise and is more violence to come? reza has an "a.m. original" monitoring the information coming in to us at the cnn center in atlanta, good morning, reza. >> good morning, joe. what an extraordinary weekend in iran. wide-scale protests and clashes based on the amazing video that's coming into cnn based on witnesses we've been speaking to for the past 48 hours. these were some of the most intense protests, some of the most fierce clashes we've seen since the disputed election back on june 12th. things culminated on sunday. sunday turned out to be one of the deadliest days since june 12th. according to state-run it tv in iran, at least eight people were killed, but one agency in iran
6:44 am
saying the killings were staged in order to take advantage of public sentiment. the reports in iran from state-run news agencies citing police saying not a single gunshot was fired. again, based on video we're seeing, based on witness accounts, there were several gunshots fired. among the dead, and this could be a turning point in the post-election turmoil in iran, mir hossein mousavi's nef few, mir hossein mousavi, of course, the opposition leader, new information coming in to cnn is that mir hossein mousavi's nef few's body, according to an opposition website, has been lost. look for that to add fuel to the fire. of the opposition movement. the intensity of these protests, as we mentioned before, has been ratcheted up on several occasions. videos showed protesters actually outnumbering security forces and on several occasions,
6:45 am
attacking them. extraordinary variety of protesters, men, women, young and old, the protests not limited to tehran. there were reports of protests in tabize, mashat and iraq. according to police in iran, 300 people arrested. the arrests and the crackdown by the iranian government drawing strong condemnation from the german foreign minister, the french foreign minister, and the white house. joe? >> reza sayeh, thanks so much for that. it is 6:45. reynolds wolf will have this morning's travel forecast right after the break. and in ten minutes, don't have a corkscrew for that bottle of wine? well, don't worry. that guy right there, yep, he has a very unique solution to the problem. crash safety rating. but only malibu has onstar. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, your phone's gone. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. if you don't answer, they can automatically send help.
6:46 am
i think i'll ride with you. now during the chevy red tag event, get an '09 malibu with 0 percent apr for 72 months. see red and save green. now at your local chevy dealer. some great memories. wait a minute, coach, you're the coach. you taught me everything i know. you taught me everything i know about nutrisystem. heck, i lost -- two sports legends, one simple way to lose weight and eat great: marino, shula, and nutrisystem for men. start your year off right. order now and you can get two weeks of meals free, plus, the all-new jumpstart kit, our secrets to ultimate weight loss. like i was saying, coach, with nutrisystem -- let's go to the video. dan "glam man" marino lost 22 pounds. don "blue suede" shula lost 32 pounds. and me, i did go all the way. whoop! 50 pounds thanks to nutrisystem. four out of five men say nutrisystem satisfies their hunger.
6:47 am
just set a goal. i reached my goal: 50 pounds, gone. and i owe it all to the coach. both: thanks, boomer. start your year off right. order now and you can get two weeks of meals free, plus, the all-new nutrisystem jumpstart kit. as having to decide to go for it? at the hartford, we help businesses of all kinds... feel confident doing what they do best. by protecting your business, your property, your people. you've counted on us for 200 years. let's embrace tomorrow. and with the hartford behind you, achieve what's ahead of you. ♪ .
6:48 am
and welcome back to the most news in the morning. time for an "am house call" checking the stories about your health. doctors have discovered the first u.s. case of highly drug resistant tuberculosis. a report from the associated press said deadly diseases like tb and malaria are spreading across the globe. the reason seems to be overuse and misuse of the very drugs that are supposed to make us better. and new research may explain why tumors can grow back even after they've been removed. a study at new york's medal sloan-kettering cancer center said tumors send out tiny seeds
6:49 am
which can reproduce the tumors. and there's new research on how stress can hurt the human brain. a new study in the american journal of psychiatry shows chronic stress can speed up memory loss in older people who already have some loss of mental function. but stress didn't affect memory in older people whose brains are functioning normally. so joe, i guess since you're so highly stressed. >> yeah. i know a little bit about stress. >> sarcasm there. your brain must be highly functioning. because i've never seen you stressed, actually. >> oh, sure. i just go to the gym all the time. >> yeah. >> even 1:30 in the morning. >> before this show. you are my hero, i'll tell you. >> it is 49 minutes after the hour. let's get a check of this morning's weather headlines. reynolds wolf is in the extreme weather center. good morning, reynolds. i'm sure you were in the gym as well this morning at 1:30. >> still flexing, man. still flexing. >> oh, yeah. >> still feeling it. that's right. who needs orange juice when you
6:50 am
can work out? we're working out snowfall in parts of upstate new york. some places between now and tomorrow afternoon could see a foot of snowfall. to the average person, a foot of snowfall will make you rip your hair out. up in upstate new york in syracuse, it's a common thing this time of year, no big deal. they're going to be cleaning it up. it's going to cause problems along 81 and 393. out a little bit more to the west in michigan, big problem we're going to have is lake effect snowfall there also for parts of i-75. strong winds may make it tough for high profile vehicles, semi trucks, busses could be a problem. big shot of cold air moving into the central plains. look for scattered snow hours. same deal for california. central plains and the southeast. your travel problems pointing to new york where the high will be 39 degrees. 43 in memphis. 52 in las vegas and 68 degrees in los angeles. that is a snapshot of your morning weather. we're going to have more coming up throughout the day. kick it back to you guys in new york. >> all right. thank you, reynolds. this morning's top stories
6:51 am
just minutes away. including -- >> top of the hour, the scare in the skies over detroit, new questions about how a man was allegedly able to bring explosives onboard an airline. now the global war on terror could soon be fought on a new front. at 7:10, tighter security for air travelers. what you can expect to see and not see when you fly. the homeland security secretary janet napolitano will join us live. another bloody crackdown on protesters in iran. some experts are calling this a major turning point for the regime. the president of the national iranian council will tell us what it could mean for them and the world.
6:52 am
♪ [ female announcer ] get the taste of a home-cooked meal at work with new marie callender's homestyle creations. marie callender's homestyle creations -- a little touch of home for lunch. who's not answering. announcer: there's a better way. intuit quickbooks online p9 organizes your business in one place, and helps you stay on top of your business anytime, anywhere. get a 30-day free trial at intuit.com. it doesn't cover everything.
6:53 am
6:54 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. a record-breaking weekend at the box office. moviegoers spent an estimated $278 million on movie tickets. leading the way james cameron's 3d epic "avatar" took in $75 million in its second week. "sherlock holmes" opened christmas day and took in $65 million. "alvin and the chipmunks the squekuel" came in third. >> did you say squekuel? >> incredible. >> my kids saw "squekuel." huge fans of the chip mujs. >> did they like it? >> just like i was. >> how can you not be? about 54 minutes after the hour. time for the most news in the morning. now you've probably sobered up from the holiday weekend by now and maybe if you're lucky, there's a bottle or two leftover. in case your inlaws or family member took off with your corkscrew jeanne moos has this tutorial on how to open a bottle of wine in a pinch. >> reporter: you may not be the world's greatest wine conknow
6:55 am
ser but this frenchman knows how to pop his cork and we don't mean the usual way. we mean without a corkscrew. call it the cork shoe technique. he's the toast of the internet for his sure-footed effort to open what surely wasn't the first bottle of the night. go ahead and laugh. 20 seconds later this frenchman had that bottle uncorked. his feet is the subject of internet instruction. >> how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. step one, stick a screw into the cork. >> reporter: ranging from using a screw and a hammer. to a hammer and a beater from a mixer. that method ended in the cork being shoved. >> all right. >> reporter: inside the bottle. others recommend using a sharpie. this is best if you're planning on polishing off the whole bottle. if caught without a corkscrew.
6:56 am
>> pull up. >> reporter: a wine professional might resort to a tree. or you could try using the phone book. who says the internet has made the phonebook obsolete? try doing this with a laptop. you know, a nice red goes very well with the yellow pages. funny, when they did it, it looked so easy. you think because it's cheap wine? >> nada. >> reporter: i'm exhausted. so my producer, richard davis, took over. champagne corks are much bigger and easier, even sword play works. >> hey! >> reporter: but here's a method that leaves you more screwed than a corkscrew. we tried walking the floor. we tried the bottle in boot technique. but the cork wouldn't budge. >> 85% of the world's wine corks come from portugal.
6:57 am
>> reporter: yeah, well ours was the cork from hell. >> this is frustrating. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> first let's say, that's why jeanne's office is way far away from anybody else. >> strange behavior in there. the thing about it is, you never saw the bottle break. seems if you're pounding like that, eventually it's going to shatter and explode. >> i wouldn't want to risk it. it was the bottom of the bottle being in the shoe. >> right. >> being slammed against that wall. >> yeah. no. >> just by the screw tops, i guess. >> just don't drink. >> there you go. >> top stories, coming your way in 90 seconds. would you like a pony ?
6:58 am
yeah. would you like a pony ? yeah ! ( cluck, cluck, cluck ) oh, wowww ! that's fun ! you didn't say i could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to hold out on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank that alerts you when your money could be working harder and earning more. it's just the right thing to do.
6:59 am
female announcer: from jennifer, a sweeping chaise sectional at the unheard of price, now just $399. with luxurious styling and so affordable, $399. from jennifer. good morning. it's monday, december 28th. john and kir reason off today. i'm joe johns. >> i'm randi kaye. here are the big stories we'll tell you about in the next 15 minutes. president obama is expected to speak for the first time
7:00 am
about the failed attempt to bring down a northwest airliner headed for detroit. a source telling us the alleged terrorist had enough explosives to blow a hole in the side of that airplane. the impact on air travel is being felt worldwide this morning. stepped up security measures at airports everywhere. some you can see and some you can't. new information about what you can and can't do now on airplanes headed to the united states. in iran, some of the most deadly and explosive anti-government protests in months continues today, while the death toll rises. hundreds of protesters are now under arrest. but first, investigators right now piecing together information into the alleged plot to bring down northwest flight 253 over detroit. sources tell cnn the amount of explosives carried by the suspect was enough to take down the airplane. cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve is live in washington with the very latest for us. jeanne? >> randi, that's right. a source familiar with the investigation says this device made with the explosive petn
7:01 am
was, indeed, powerful enough to have blown a hole in the side of the plane and taken it down. so, had it worked properly or passengers and crew not responded so quickly, the results could have been catastrophic. president obama want ts to know how it got smuggled on an aircraft and has ordered review of screening technology used in airport security. he has also ordered a review of watch lists, how they're put together and maintained, although umar farouk abdulmutallab's father warned the u.s. about his son's radicalization and his name was placed on a government security list, he was not prohibited from flying or given additional scrutiny. also, today, a court hearing related to this case. the government is seeking authorization to get a dna sample from the suspect, presumably to link him with evidence. abdulmutallab is not expected to attend. randi? >> a lot of people this morning asking about air marshals and why there wasn't one on flight 253. do you know the answer to that? >> well, there wasn't one,
7:02 am
apparently, because it wasn't -- the analysis and intelligence didn't indicate there should be one. we're told, however, by the department of homeland security, by an official there, that the use of federal air marshals has increased significantly since the events of christmas day. vacations have been canceled, instructors and administrators are being put on the air as we said, there was no air marshall on the flight christmas day and a government official says there wasn't an air marshall on the same flight yesterday when a sick passenger raised serious security concerns for several hours. republican congressman peter king says this was a clear failure of judgment. there was a terrible mistake. it makes you wonder what in the world the administration is living in. if there was any flight that should have had an air marshall on board, it was the northwest flight coming out of amsterdam to detroit. that in reference to yesterday's flight. also, dhs secretary napolitano, whose department runs the air marshall program, is being
7:03 am
criticized for saying yesterday air marshals assigned randomly. current and former air marshals say although they do have some element of randomness they're largely based on intelligence and analysis of which flights are most vulnerable. randi? >> jeanne meserve on top of all angles of this story for us, thanks. a little more on that second incident jeanne meserve just talked about, the second scare on the same flight from amsterdam to detroit. this one happened on sunday. passengers on board this northwest flight 253, watch as their luggage was emptied out on to the tarmac and checked by bomb-sniffing dogs. what happened exactly? cnn's allan chernoff live this morning at detroit's metro airport with details. good morning, alan. >> good morning, joe. and we clearly see that airline crews, law enforcement are now taking no chances. as you said, it was the same flight, northwest 253, amsterdam to detroit, the same passenger description, a nigerian man in
7:04 am
his 20s. he spent much of the flight in the bathroom and would not come out when flight attendants told him to return to his seat. that raised the concern of the crew. the pilot radioed in to his dispatcher. law enforcement was told to meet the plane upon arrival here in detroit. the plane taxied to a remote area of the tarmac and was surrounded by police cars, 13 by one passenger's count. obviously this was very anxiety provoking for the passengers. >> about an hour and a half before we came in, they said everybody's got to sit down, stay in their seats, nobody goes to the bathroom or anything like that. no standing up. so after all that, we just said okay. i figured it just came from december 25th that happened. when they said they got somebody, they're going to take somebody off, that was a little panicky. i go, this is great.
7:05 am
and then when i saw the police outside the window, i said uh-oh. >> reporter: fortunately, indeed, it did turn out to be a case of just a sick passenger. nonetheless, out of extreme caution, the entire plane was screened, the bags were rescreened, the passengers were kept sitting for a good three hours or more in some cases. finally last night, the sick passenger was released and allowed to continue with his travels. joe? >> thanks so much, allan chernoff, in detroit this morning. air travelers around the world are now dealing with tighter security than ever because of the christmas day incident aboard northwest flight 253. passengers will notice a more visible police presence, longer lines, and longer delays. some of the new security rules on international flights to the u.s. require more physical pat-downs at the gate and more frequent checks of carreon bags. in the last hour of flight,
7:06 am
there's no standing in the aisles and no blankets or personal items allowed on your lap and no touching carry-on baggage and no using bathrooms unless escorted by a crew member. federal officials are urging passengers to stay vinl lent and report any suspicious activity. the big question is, is the government doing all it should be doing to keep you save in the air? we'll ask homeland security secretary janet napolitano, joining us live next right here on the most news in the morning. also new this morning, deadly riots in iran. across tehran and other cities in the religious holy day of ashoura, iran state media says at least eight people were killed in the bloodiest day of protests since president ahmadinejad won a contested election in june. ahead at the half hour, we'll talk live to the president of the national iranian american council. the families of three americans held in iran say they've hired a prominent iranian lawyer to represent them. the three hikers have been held
7:07 am
since they accidentally crossed over the boarder from iraq in july. iranian prosecutors say they're still under investigation. another deadly suicide attack in pakistan. police say a second blast in karachi in less than 24 hours killed at least eight people and wounded 30. the target was a shiite religious procession. and the search is on for one or more possible serial arsonists this morning. fire officials in northhampton, massachusetts, say nine fires were set within 90 minutes early sunday morning, killing at least two people. five in buildings, the others in cars. two more were attempted, but did not burn. there's a $5,000 reward for information that leads to that conviction. and it's seven minutes after the hour. let's get a check of the morning's weather headlines. reynolds wolf in the extreme weather center with some lake-effect snow, we're talking about? >> that's right. could be kind of heavy in places like upstate new york, perhaps back into buffalo, maybe syracuse, before all is said and done.
7:08 am
by tomorrow afternoon some of it going up to about a foot or so. zoom into the spot we're seeing heavy snowfall this hour. almost whiteout conditions along 87 and 81. if you're just getting out to the airport, look for delays in spots like new york due mainly to wind. chicago and detroit, low clouds, light snow and wind will be an issue for you. it's going to be a combination of the snow and the strong breezes into the afternoon in indianapolis. most of the spots you're going to see delays from say 15 to 30 minutes or so. it is a quick snapshot on the weather and how it may affect your travel. we're going to have a lot more coming up very soon. kick it back to you guys at the desk in new york. >> reynolds wolf, thanks so much. great work. we'll be checking in with you in a little bit. coming up next, homeland security secretary janet napolitano's going to talk to us about that incident in detroit. stay with us. carol, when you replaced casual friday with nordic tuesday, was it really for fun, or to save money on heat? why? don't you think nordic tuesday is fun? oh no, it's fun...
7:09 am
you know, if you are trying to cut costs, fedex can help. we've got express options, fast ground and freight service-- you can save money and keep the heat on. great idea. that is a great idea. well, if nordic tuesday wasn't so much fun. (announcer) we understand. you need to save money. fedex
7:10 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. president obama vacationing in hawaii, is expected to speak for the first time about the alleged northwest airlines terror attempt later today. the president has ordered an investigation into possible u.s.
7:11 am
security gaps and he's demanding reviews of both airport security and the country's terrorism watch list, and he's urging republicans and democrats to avoid a political fight over the incident. senator joe lieberman, chairman of the senate homeland security committee, also weighed in on friday's attempted terror attack. >> he was able to break through all of our homeland security. if it was that for our good fortune, grace of god, that the explosive did not go off, 300 people and many more on the ground probably in michigan, would have been killed. >> senator lieberman is urging the government to expand the use of full body scanning devices now deployed in 19 cities. and now, a cnn exclusive, the hero passenger who took down the alleged terror suspect, dutch filmmaker jasper schuringa revealed to cnn's fredricka whitfield just what happened aboard northwest flight 253.
7:12 am
>> did you help take the image or did you also help subdue the suspect? which is it? >> well, basically, like i re t reacted on the bang and then suddenly like there was smoke in the cabin so people were screaming "fire fire" and the first thing we like all did is to check where the fire was. so -- and then i saw the suspect. he was on his seat. >> how many rows back were you? >> sorry? >> how many rows back? you were behind the suspect when this smoke -- >> i was on the right side of the plane and the suspect was on the left side. there were quite some seats in between. when i saw that suspect, he was getting on fire, and i freaked, of course, and without any hesitation, i just jumped over all the seats and i just jumped to the suspect because i was thinking like, he's trying to blow up the plane. so, you know, i was trying to search his body for any
7:13 am
explosives and then i took some kind of object that was already melting and smoking out of him and i tried to put out the fire and then when i did that, i was also restraining the suspect. then the fire started beneath his seat, so i waved my hands and everything. you can see it's a little burned. i put out the fire. and then other passengers helped me as well and, of course, i was screaming for "water water" because there's a fire in the plane is not that good, of course. so -- but then the fire was actually getting a little worse because of what i did, it didn't extinguish the fire. i grabbed the suspect out of the seat because if he was wearing any more explosives, it would be very dangerous because he was almost on fire. and when i grabbed him from his seat, the chemicals came and they came with fire extinguishers and they got clear
7:14 am
of the flames and just to be sure, like i grabbed him with other attendants and we took him to first class and there we stripped him and contained him with handcuffs and we made sure he had no more weapons, no more bombs on him. >> scary, scary situation there. now, randi has her interview with homeland security secretary janet napolitano. randi? thanks, joe. cnn has learned the device carried on to the flight was powerful enough to blow a hole through the side of the plane. we also know that the suspect now in custody was already on our radar. so how did he get through and does the government need to do more to keep you safe in the air? here for the "am breakdown" homeland security janet napolitano. good to see you, secretary. >> good morning. >> first let me ask you, what is the latest on this investigation? have you been able to learn any more about this suspect's alleged ties to al qaeda? >> no, that's under investigation through the criminal justice process. what we are doing is going backwards. how did this individual get on
7:15 am
the plane, what didn't work in the screening procedure to pick him up, and why was the material he was carrying not picked up in the screening procedure as well? >> and that's what i wanted to ask you about. because as cnn has learned, this suspect had enough explosives to blow a local in the airplane, bring that airplane down. how is it that eight years after 9/11 this guy was allegedly able to bring these high explosives on board in his underwear? >> well, your experts must know more than ours do at this point in time who are ascertaining what the material was, where it was on the plane and what effect it would have had had it been detonated. but that doesn't excuse the fact that it was on the plane. with all of the procedures we now have in place, now we've instituted new procedures moving forward, and we were able immediately upon the passengers apprehending this individual, to institute procedures for even the planes that were already in the air so that moving forward,
7:16 am
we could provide additional safety in the air environment. but we need to go back now, and the president has asked us to, to do a thorough review. these are procedures that have been in place since the shoe bomber in 2006. what needs to be updated, improved, upgraded to see that this doesn't happen again. >> you have said that throughout this, the system worked smoothly. what exactly worked in your opinion? >> yeah. that's a phrase taken out of context. what i said is, moving forward, meaning once the incident happened, we were able to immediately notify the 128 flights in the air, as well as airports on the ground domestically, internationally, our law enforcement partners, other allies, institute immediate safe procedures to make sure that this could not happen on other flights and that people were watching out for it on other flights, even as we focused on what went wrong prior to this one. >> you do recognize it didn't work smoothly leading up to
7:17 am
this? >> obviously it didn't. no secretary of homeland security would say that. >> if screening can't detect these kinds of threats, at least the screening that we have now currently in the united states, is it up to us, the flying public, to protect ourselves and the rest of those on board an airplane now? >> well, you know, security is something that we all have a part in. we are looking at the technology. we have deployed new technology in some airports. the question is, would it have detected this material and the way he had hidden it on his person. we're ascertaining that. we're ascertaining why it was that he was not flagged in a more specific way when he purchased his ticket, given the information that we think was available, allegedly was available. and that's moving forward, we need to go backwards and say what happened here, what do we need to change, what do we need to do to make sure passengers are safe moving forward. >> maybe you can shed light on
7:18 am
this. we know the suspect had obtained a visa back in june of 2008. once his father had warned the u.s. embassy he thought maybe his son might be looking to do jihad, might have been radicalized, why wasn't that visa revoked once he had been tagged in the system? >> i've asked the same question. and we all want to know the answer to that question. and, you know, that will be part of the process that we are undergoing at the president's direction over the next days and weeks. >> and for those of us who may not know the answer to this, what exactly does it take to get on a no-fly list? we know he was on a broader list along with 550,000 people, so half a million people or so. what would have put him on the selectee list, which is a smaller list or the no-fly list? >> under the existing protocols, it requires an interagency process and the identification of other negative information that's credible to which there's
7:19 am
a basis for, and that process whittles down from 500,000 or so that are on the generic list, to the fewer than 5,000 that are on the no-fly list. now, we are going to be looking at that process and how those lists are created, maintained, updated, exchanged and the like, because clearly this individual should not have been able to board this plane carrying that material. >> homeland security secretary janet napolitano, thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thank you. joe? >> coming up, it's a rite of passage, high school students have dreaded for years. the scholastic aptitude test. carol costello will be reporting on why it may be a thing of the past.
7:20 am
7:21 am
7:22 am
it's 22 minutes after the hour. that means time for "minding your business" with stephanie elam. >> time to take a look at the year that was and the year that
7:23 am
will be, since it is that last week of the year, we're taking a look at what's going to happen here this week. last year, we actually closed at the highs of the year for the market, so not a bad way to start wrapping up 2009, especially after we hit those lows back in march. if you take a look, major indices are on track to have double digit gains for the year. the dow right now gains about 20%, s&p about 25%, nasdaq up about 45%. this will be the first yearly increase in two years. if you take a look at the decade, however, those numbers are good, but the decade not so good. take a look overall, you can see this will be the first losing decade that we will ever post for the markets. think about all the things that happened, the tech bubble bursting in 2000 and we also had 9/11 and the recession in that year. all of that impacting so much of the economy. these kind of benchmarking the pain of the decade. if you look at the period overall, you'll see that we actually will drop about 25% on the s&p 500, excluding dividends
7:24 am
for that period. >> want to put an exclamation point on that. the first losing decade. >> that we will see. this shows you how bad, even after the great depression, that decade actually managed to come back and have a bit of a gain there. it shows you the difference. the other thing we can look at when you go into 2010, the idea of the january effect, that's the idea of when the new year starts, people come back strong and stocks tend to rise. this year could be stronger than other years because january of '09 was just so bad. so because of that, we could see a stronger january, more deals should start probably happening next year and hopefully will help bring the markets back. overall the decade that is wrapping up ever so soon -- i should also mention the markets will not be open on friday for new year's day. anything that's going to happen people have to get done by thursday. this is a volatile week because there's not a lot of people around, not a lot of traders. >> we're here. >> but we will be here. >> yes. >> still tracking it all. >> all right. thanks, stephanie. we've been watching the violence in iran. we'll bring you the very latest
7:25 am
on the protests there after this break. ♪ singer:hen you're a rock star you get to party hard ♪
7:26 am
♪ champagne and caviar ♪ tricked-out exotic cars ♪ it's just how i thought it'd be ♪ ♪ 'cept the party's not for me ♪ ♪ 'cause some punk opened a credit card with my id ♪ ♪ free what? (free credit!) report dot com ♪ ♪ that's the site i'm gonna hit when i go home ♪ ♪ they know how credit works ♪ they send email alerts ♪ now i'm findingut how bad reality hurts ♪ legal vo: offer applies with enrollment in triple advantage
7:27 am
welcome back. top stories are only five minutes away. first an "am original." when it comes to getting into college, a good score on your s.a.t. is the magic ticket, or is it? carol costello is taking a look at the changing standards for standardized test in an "am original," educating america. >> reporter: never has one test caused so much angst, that's a-n-g-s-t. a feeling of anxiety. >> are you nervous or excited? >> i'm so nervous. >> reporter: hence, this class designed to beat the test. >> that's enough to guess d over e. >> reporter: parents pay the princeton review and other organizations anywhere from 600 to $8,000 for special classes or private tutors so their child can literally beat the s.a.t.
7:28 am
16-year-old mckenna from missouri. >> i got the gist of it. >> reporter: is spending her summer in s.a.t. class. >> i'm really a bad test taker and they're really hard questions, so i'm just hoping i can get through it. >> reporter: imagine, all of this angst for a test that many say doesn't even measure how smart you are. >> there's a whole word list you can do. >> reporter: ed carol tutors students to take the test. >> there are people who think naturally and incorrectly that the s.a.t. is a measure of intelligence and it never was. the only thing the s.a.t. is good at is predicting how good you will do on the s.t.a. >> reporter: it's not that a student needs to take special courses, but once a student realizes there are patterns involved, sort of like soduku, it's a lot easier. >> a squared plus b squared equals c squared. on this test the numbers you will see frequently, 3 squared plus 4 squared equal 5 squared. if i tell students, 3, 4, 5 that's what you need to know.
7:29 am
you don't need to know all solutions. >> that's wrong. >> reporter: lawrence oversees the s.a.t. for the college board. >> the s.a.t. is a test of the basic skills that one needs to succeed in college. >> reporter: does it show you how smart a kid is? >> it shows you how much they've learned in school. >> reporter: many universities are saying the s.a.t. says very little about what a student can do. some 850 of them have now made the s.a.t. optional for most applicants including ten this year, some of them highly selective top tier liberal arts school. >> would you like to see the s.a.t. go away? >> i would love to see it go away. >> am i clear? >> crystal. >> reporter: sean toler, principal at the kip school in baltimore for inner city schools, says the deck is stacked against lower income children. they're generally not able to attend elite high schools or afford expensive tutors. according to the college board's own stat, in 2009, kids whose parents make up to $20,000 a year, scored an average 1321 on a squall of 2400.
7:30 am
if a kid's parents makes above $200,000 a year, that score shoots up 381 points to an average of 1702. >> what you're really seeing is that the playing field isn't fair. it's not the s.a.t. that's the problem. it's any measure of educational achievement that's going to show the same thing. >> reporter: but if the playing field isn't fair to begin with, educators like principal toler wonder why a perfect 2400 on the s.a.t. seems to matter so much. keep in mind, universities use the s.a.t. as just one indicator of what a child is capable of in college and also use things like high school grades, activities and written essays. all of those things weigh in. carol costello, cnn, new york. joe and i were just discussing our s.a.t. scores. we're not going to go there, are we? >> i'm not going to say what i got, but i still -- i never understood why you had to take it. >> nightmare. >> exactly. >> we're wondering should the s.a.t.s be scrapped. >> bitter. >> you are after all these
7:31 am
years. be sure to comment on our blog at cnn.com/amfix. >> 30 minutes after the hour. time for this morning's top stories. sources tell cnn the suspect in the alleged terror plot on christmas day had enough explosives on him to blow a hole in northwest flight 253. this morning the suspect is out of the hospital and being held at a federal prison south of detroit. there's a hearing set for this afternoon, though he is not expected to attend. president obama is ordering a security review to find out how the suspect allegedly got an explosive device past security in nigeria and amsterdam. homeland security secretary janet napolitano said the incident showed the response system worked. congressman peter king of new york, the top republican on the house homeland security committee, said airport security failed in every respect. in iran, the death toll is rising. the riots are more violent as a government crackdown continues. iran's state run media says eight people died during sunday's clash which took place
7:32 am
on the holiest day on the shiite calendar. another 300 people reportedly have been taken into custody. some experts are calling it a perfect storm in iran. one that could be a major turning point for the regime. joining us now, trita parsy, the president of the national iranian american council in washington this morning, so is author and former diplomatic correspondent for "the washington post" robin wright. thank you both for joining us. trita, a lot of things coming together. holy day of ashoura and the morning of an important cleric. give us an idea about the significance of what we're seeing here, why it matters to people here in the united states? >> well, i think this may actually turn out to be a breaking point. what we've seen here is how the opposition six months after the fraud in elections still have a lot of fight in them. i think they've taken the iranian authorities by surprise. they're still coming out in huge
7:33 am
numbers, and more ral seems to be stronger amongst the opposition than among the security forces at this point. this could very well end up being one of those indicators that this is not just going to end, this is going to go for something that can be causing a dramatic change, not only in iran but in the region as a whole. >> the uprising and protests first started back in june after the presidential election. what we're seeing here, is this a tipping point in your mind? is the uprising actually going to lead to anything significant? is the government going to change in any way? >> well, this is not yet a counter revolution and the opposition is fragmented, it does not respect one trend or one vision. each has its own goals. they've come together in opposition to the government. but this is a very important moment in iranian history, and it is probably time to start asking whether iran's uprising could become a berlin wall moment. not just for iran, but the wider
7:34 am
region. and the important thing to understand is it's not just an issue of the sporadic protests once or twice a month, people pouring out on the streets to make their opposition known. it's also one of the most vibrant and imaginative civil disobedience campaigns anywhere in the world and that plays out on a daily basis, whether it's a boycott of goods on state controlled television, the graffiti in green representing the green movement that appears on walls and fences throughout the country. this is happening, the civil disobedience campaign, in cities across iran. so we're seeing multiple sides to this opposition movement that plays out in every day life as well as in these very vibrant protests on the streets. >> we hear so much about the protests, of course, and the people who attend them. one question that has come to my mind, though, what about the government response? we realize certain people have been killed and that's always a
7:35 am
tragedy, but has the government response been more muted or has it been sort of commensurate with the size of the crowds? >> well, the government has clearly become much more militarized, arguably more so than at any time since the early days of the revolution and used most of the means available to it, including the live bullets now in trying to put down protests. we've seen show trials, mass arrests, lots of intimidation and harassment of anyone, students, professionals, women, sympathetic to the dissident -- to the opposition movement. and yet it's been unable so far to put a stop to the protests or the civil disobedience campaign. >> trita, i want to ask you, what do you make of the united states response? what the government has said about these uprising? >> i think the obama
7:36 am
administration has walked the balance on the one hand not trying to get too close to the opposition because that could be very hurtful to them, but at the same time, as speaking out sufficiently so the opposition doesn't think that it doesn't have the moral support of the u.s. and the hardliners in the government don't think that they can get away with all of these human rights violations with impunity. i think at times the administration may have been a little bit too quiet on the human rights front, but i've seen now in the last couple weeks that there's an increasing amount of condemnations about the human rights violations and that's very important for the moral support to the opposition, which is the type of support at this stage can be provided. >> another issue at play here is iran's nuclear ambitions. president obama wants iran to respond to an offer to talk about the nuclear issue by the end of the year. he's warning of new sanctions if that doesn't happen. how much of the nuclear issue is impacting all of this, especially in the violence we're
7:37 am
seeing? does it matter? are they apples and oranges? >> it does matter because we are now negotiating with the iranian government and putting forward deadlines for the diplomacy that doesn't seem to take into account that iran currently is not capable of negotiating and it's not capable of making decisions of that size mindful of what's happening on the streets of tehran and other cities. i think we need to adjust our policies so we put the iranian democracy clock a little more into focus and we adjust our nuclear strategy and other security strategies in accordance with that clock, rather than the other way around. >> great. we'll leave it there for now. robin wright, see you back in a little while. thank you both this morning. and we continue to look at all the angles surrounding the attempted attack on that u.s. jet. cnn's christian pirfoy will join us live, heading to the alleged northwest terrorist to talk to family and friends. if you've taken your sleep aid
7:38 am
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.
7:39 am
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 about switching to lunesta. discover a restful lunesta night.
7:40 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. investigators are scouring the record of the accused terror suspect who allegedly tried to blow up a northwest flight over detroit. we know the suspect is a 23-year-old nigerian national. the worldwide resources of cnn
7:41 am
take us to our christian perfoy in nigeria. what are you learning there? >> hi, randi. well the investigation here continues. we've got reports of the nigerian secret service searching his birthplace home, well north of here, and the family is in the city behind me. they've gathered together in what must be an incredibly difficult time. not only did they pour a lot of money and time and effort to get their son educated -- as we know he was educated across the world mostly in britain, but in the top class universities and schools around the world, a privileged back ground if you like, but now he's done something terrible. the first nigerian ever -- and nobody here really expected this to happen, randi. >> christian, have you seen any of the papers there? i'm curious what the headlines say and how this story is playing there?
7:42 am
>> nigeria is doing a lot of soul searching right now, randi. nigeria, northern nigeria, has a lot of sporadic religious violence, hundreds have died in the past, but it's always been local politics. we've never seen anything like this where, you know, anti-western, anti-american sentiment. it is there, of course, but nobody's ever got on a plane and try to blow themselves up before. nigeria is doing a lot of soul searching. what does this mean for nigeria. they are questioning, because he spent so much time abroad, was he actually a nigerian terrorist or actually a british terrorist? randi? >> and what would you say in terms of how -- does nigeria welcome an investigation there or is it something that they don't want the u.s. involved in? >> no, nigeria has made it quite clear and the family made it quite clear they're collaborating in every way they
7:43 am
can. the father, who is here, did even report his son to the american embassy in nigeria, fearing he was becoming radicalized and the nigerian government, the information ministry, yes, they said they are collaborating with other international agencies and there is a lot of past history with collaboration, particularly with america, because of other problems nigeria has, drugs, for example, which did make it quite curious as to why actually abdulmutallab did come back to nigeria to start the final leg of his journey. the route -- because he took a plane from lagos by amsterdam to detroit, a well watched route for drug traffickerses. randi? >> christian in nigeria for us, thank you. it's now 43 minutes after the hour. reynolds will have this morning's travel forecast right after the break. >> and in ten minutes, we are paging dr. gupta. this is a honda pilot.
7:44 am
and this is the chevy traverse. it has more cargo space than pilot. and traverse beats honda on highway gas mileage too. more fuel efficient and 30% more room. maybe traverse can carry that stuff too. now during the chevy red tag event, get an '09 traverse with 0 percent apr for 72 months. see red and save green. now at your local chevy dealer.
7:45 am
is
7:46 am
good morning, atlanta, georgia. looking pretty good there right now in the home state of a number of people, including reynolds wolf, who is the guy we're getting ready to go to and talk to about the weather at this very moment. >> looking pretty nice there, reynolds. >> things are a little bit nicer than they would be say in about upstate new york where by tomorrow at this time they could have a foot of snowfall in some places. let's be honest you don't want to drive in that stuff. sitting at home, it's going to be picture perfect or needing to
7:47 am
fly in rochester or buffalo, you might have some iv shoos out there. keep that in mind. we have that wind that's coming right off the lake, not only in parts of new york but back towards michigan. going to be the same story. more of a northwesterly breeze, picks up the moisture off the great lakes, and falls in the form of snow. spots like 75 you see behind me whiteout conditions at times. going to be a big headache maker for you. you're going to have cold air coming in, but results sunny for dallas, same deal with little rock, atlanta, georgia, and back to the west, it is that time of year where we start getting those winter storms start developing in parts of the west coast which means mostly rainfall for the coastal range, but when you get in the sierra nevada could see snowfall there too. speaking of the pacific northwest, 49 degrees the expected high in seattle, 39 in denver, boston upper 30s, 41 atlanta and 75 in miami. you guys are so lucky. take a look at your forecast
7:48 am
again in terms of the airport, new york wind issues, same story in chicago, coupled with low clouds and light snow in detroit, minneapolis light snow and wind. with all the new security measures we're going to have, weather not really cooperating on this monday day. ran randi, let's send it back to you in new york. >> that's not what the travelers want to hear, but they don't have a choice. >> exactly. >> thanks, reynolds. >> joe? >> when you think of the united nations, the words young, hip and connected, don't come to mind. but that's just the image the u.n. is going for with its citizen ambassadors program. here to tell us about it, richard roth, and what do you think? young, hip, connected? >> they're trying. good morning, joe. feeling left out, can't get your voice heard by world big shots? the u.n. has just the thing for you, it's a new program they're calling citizen ambassadors. emily troutman is not your typical united nations
7:49 am
ambassador. >> do you have a minute? >> reporter: the baltimore resident is a diplomatic novelty. she is a u.n. citizen ambassador. >> there's five of us from around the world and i just received the title after winning a video contest on youtube. >> are you ready? >> reporter: it's a new and very un-u.n. idea. >> if you had the opportunity to speaks to the world leaders, what would you say? >> it's a demock cra tizer in some ways, it allows me to make a message that's crewed by thousands of people. >> reporter: the u.n. gave their new recruits cameras to capture the voice of the people, roaming ambassadors with cameras is far from the traditional u.n. closed door diplomacy. >> the u.n. will always be about member states, therefore governments, but we're really trying to also show to people everywhere that the u.n. is also for them. were emily's video application was selected from more than 400 submissions. >> every day, i want you to wake up and know that you work for
7:50 am
6.7 billion real people, one person at a time. >> reporter: why do we need you? to talk to the people? >> well, i think the people have a lot more to more to say than they know. i think that people have a lot of knowledge already. >> emily had already seen and photographed the world, including time in congo. >> what sort of issues are most important to you? >> for me, because of where i live, security. ♪ >> online critics say the u.n. went purely for image, appointing only young, attractive-looking am bass ambassadors. however, they also got a quick lesson in the realities of
7:51 am
power. the u.n. is still pondering the future role for the citizens. they are unpaid. my recommendation, joe, in september when all of the country leaders are there in the assembly, show them the tapes and force them to watch. >> yeah, kinder, gentler, u.n. but you have to have everybody present. in countries like the u.s. where there are pockets of suspicious, this might be a way to bridge the gaps. >> yeah, people will be logging on and seeing youtube, and softening the image. >> thank you for that report. >> thank you, joe. this morning's top stories coming up at the top of the hour. first up, your safety in the skies. the feds investigating this morning what could have been a deadly attack in detroit
7:52 am
christmas day. what can you expect if you are heading to the airport this morning? the world has seen mayor changes in u.s. foreign policy. what is working and what is not? answers from the expert panel. do not forget finances. jerri willis has those stories ahead. it's 7:52. (announcer) some people just know how to build things well. give you and your loved ones an expertly engineered mercedes benz at the winter event going on now. but hurry - the offer ends january 4th. we've got a way for you to check the status of your loan online... securely, any time, anywhere.
7:53 am
our e signature technology makes it really easy... for you to sign your documents from home. we've helped over three-quarters of a million families... refinance or purchase their home. it's how we've done things at quicken loans for 25 years now. it's why quicken loans is one of america's largest mortgage lenders. - and that's why i love... - i love being a home loan expert. ♪
7:54 am
7:55 am
welcome back to the most news mountain morning. places are pushing back against capitol hill. the "new york times" reports some states say the bill is unfair forcing them to pay for states that have done nothing to help health care. when scientists exspoesed bacteria to more germ killers. it made them stronger.
7:56 am
if you have ever had a ringing sensation in your ears, then you know what it's like to have t achl nitu u.s. we are paging dr. gupta who had a chance to sit down with the drummer. >> he did not realize he was abusing his ears until it was too late. there is a constant noise that sounds something like this. >> it never goes away or stops.
7:57 am
>> any loud noise causes it. how do you know when something is too loud? >> if you are an environment when you are three feet away from an individual and you have to raise your voice for them to hear you, that's aloud environment. >> ear plugs and ear molds can help. >> i will never sit down behind a drum kit without protection. >> he hopes others will start before he did, whether at work or at play. dr. sanjay gupta. >> not to make fun of him, but if you played in a band like he
7:58 am
does, it's loud. top stories coming your way in 90 seconds. guys, start the year off right! lose weight and "jumpstart" your year. any guy any age can do this. introducing the all-new jumpstart kit from nutrisystem. i'm dan marino, and i lost 22 pounds with nutrisystem. that's me 32 pounds ago. i feel like i'm 10 years younger. order now and get the jumpstart kit, specially designed to put you on the fast track to awesome weight loss. i did go...all...the...way! i lost 50 pounds with nutrisystem for men. nutrisystem is based on the proven science of the glycemic index that helps you feel fuller longer. for about $12 a day, you'll get 28 days of fantastic meals. fifty years old and back to my playing weight. order now and you can get two weeks of meals free, plus, the all-new jumpstart kit,
7:59 am
our secrets to put you on the fast track to ultimate weight loss, based on more than 35 years of proven science. jumpstart your weight loss with nutrisystem. order now and jumpstart your year. call or click now. good morning, everybody. it's monday, december 28th, just about 8:00. >> this is the last monday in 2009. i am joe johns. i am in for john roberts, and i am excited about it. >> that would be the last monday
8:00 am
in the decade, too. >> yeah, unbelievable. where did it go? >> i don't know. snuck up on us just like that. and then obama ordering a review of the security after the terror threat. we are live in washington. the alleged bomber claims he was trained and armed in yemen, a lawless country that is becoming a training ground for terrorists. what is the administration doing about it? we are live at the pentagon this morning. and at least eight or dead and 300 arrested after protesters clash with security forces across iran. is this a turning point in iranian history? >> first up, developing news.
8:01 am
in the next couple hours, obama will look at the investigation. earlier, randy spoke to homeland security secretary, janet napolitano, about the investigation. >> have you been able to learn more about the suspect's ties to al qaeda? >> no, what we are doing is going backwards. how did this individual get on the plane? what didn't work in the screening procedure to pick him up, and why was the material that he was carrying not picked up in the screening procedure as well? >> our national correspondent is in washington. we are learning the amount of explosive on the plane was enough to take it down? >> yeah, that's right. a source familiar with the investigation tells cnn the
8:02 am
device care yaed by umar farouk abdulmutallab was powerful enough to take the airplane down. passengers and crew reacted quickly. homeland security secretary janet napolitano is taking heat that the system works. this morning she clarified her remarks. >> what i said is moving forward, meaning once the incident happened we were able to notify the 128 flights in the air as well as airports on the ground and domestically and internationally, and our other law enforcement instituted other procedures to make sure this could not happen on other flights and people were watching out for it on other flights. >> she said keeping dangerous people off airplanes did not work.
8:03 am
nep nep nepal also, a court hearing today the government is seeking to get a dna from the suspect, and he is not expected to be in the court. >> it seems clear that there is technology available to detect petn, but the question is why isn't that detection more widely deployed? >> there are a couple technologies, machines that pick up traces of explosives have been hard to be maintained in a dirty airport environment, so they are being used less and
8:04 am
less. they are only conducted on passengers for secondary screening. and then there are body imaging machines that show he had something on his body. they have been called an electronic strip search because they show so much detail. >> thank you so much for the great reporting. because of all this, there could be big changes on your flight home from the holidays. jim acosta joins us. >> reporter: as the day goes on, the lines should get longer because of the new security precautions. it was originally thought this would only affect people flying internationally, but we are
8:05 am
hearing they are seeing security upgrades on domestic flights. while we have not had many arrivals here to talk to passengers over the weekend plenty of international flyers were saying they noticed the changes. >> we come in, and we had to make sure that we were seated and had nothing on our lap, no pillows or blankets. a bit strange, i thought, but precaution for them. >> coming into the plane in mexico city, they search awful our bags individually. the security guys. and then they searched us, like a body search, each one of us. what are some of the security changes you will be seeing over the coming days and weeks. the administration, one of those things you will see is pat downs not only at security check points, but at the gates. be ready for that. not only adults but the children
8:06 am
as well, they will stop people for pat downs at the gates. and you may see something that you have not seen in the post 9/11 era, and that's having nothing in your lap. those road warriors will be asked to close the laptops and stow them one hour before they land on some flights. and then one thing we have seen is people not being able to get up one hour before the flight lands. one last thing the tsa is saying is expect the unexpected. they want people to expect the unexpected, and one of the passengers that we saw this mer morning, picking up on what some were saying, joe lieberman came through the section of reagan just a few moments ago and told us one thing he wants to see is
8:07 am
many more of the full body scanning imaging systems stationed at airports across the count country. he is having a hearing and demanding answers as to why we are not seeing more of those across the country. >> jim acosta for us. >> yeah, he says even with the privacy concerns he said we need the scanners. we are learning more about the man behind the scare and his life before he turned to terrorism. a live report from london coming up. and then another scare in the air, and this one from arizona. they released two men after questioned by authorities. from orlando to phoenix, two weresuspiciously.
8:08 am
and then they will receive data from the flight that over shot their destination. american airlines landed in the rain and hit a fence and broke apart within ten feet of the caribbean sea. nearly 100 people were injured. and let's get a look at our weather from reynolds wolf standing by. >> it's this time of year people look outside and they may see a little snowfall. if you have to go out and shovel it, it's a different matter. right along the finger lakes and places like rochester, lake-effect snow fall, same story expected in parts of vermont and new hampshire, and michigan, it will be the same deal. expect issues on the roadway. for your travel delays, let's
8:09 am
look. wind could be an issue in new york, and same thing in chicago and detroit. low clouds and light snow and light snow and wind could be a big issue in minneapolis. of course more updates coming up throughout the morning. let's send it back to you guys in new york. >> thank you, reynolds. >> you bet. and then coming up, the next front on the war on terror. barbara starr will join us with an a.m. original. this is a honda pilot. and this is the chevy traverse.
8:10 am
it has more cargo space than pilot. and traverse beats honda on highway gas mileage too. more fuel efficient and 30% more room. maybe traverse can carry that stuff too. now during the chevy red tag event, get an '09 traverse with 0 percent apr for 72 months. see red and save green. now at your local chevy dealer.
8:11 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. it's 11 minutes after the hour. that means it's time for an a.m. original. but first, new democrats say
8:12 am
they may say port health plans without a public option. it's so long as the final bill was designed to keep costs down. another deadly suicide attack in pakistan. police say a second blast in karachi killed at least 15 people and wounded 20. the target was a shiite religious procession. >> more and more terror suspects can be linked to this one nation, yemen. >> well, we all know afghanistan and iraq have been the very
8:13 am
public wars against terror in the administration, but for the last several months it's the secret war against al qaeda in yemen, that has been at the center of many concerns. in yemen, eulogies. all of this happened before the suspect in the attack against northwest airlines flight 253 claimed he travelled to yemen and was given bomb-making materials there. a claim that has the u.s. worried. al qaeda in yemen has already been the focus of secret u.s. military and intelligence operations for months. general david petraeus sounded a
8:14 am
warning about yemen earlier this year. >> that's where they established their headquarters. there is a concern. >> the central government can't fully control the government. al qaeda has found a new safe haven. >> there is a very real sense that the central government is losing control over most of the country, that al qaeda in the iranian peninsula is setting up basis hosted among tribes. >> look at the map and you see the potential for disaster. al qaeda operatives in yemen are within striking distance of many things. there are ripe targets for attacks. the bottom line, expects say, al qaeda in yemen may now be able to attack the united states.
8:15 am
>> the important thing here, is if this leads back to the yemen's cell, most of the attacks that we have seen in the past have been in yemen or saudi arabia. the yemen affiliate there has not been able to do out of area operations, and this would represent an out of area pralgs and a significant one. >> so why is the u.s. so quiet about all of this? well, the goal now, officials say is to make it looks like the yemens are front and center and making it appear the government there is in control of the country. the u.s. is now funneling between $60 million and $70 million a year in military and security aid to yemen. joe and randy? >> what are the yemenies saying about all this? >> they say it's going to cost
8:16 am
america a lot of money to help us now. if the country collapses it's a true al qaeda safe haven, it will be a disaster and cost everybody a lot more. >> thank you so much for that. still ahead, a sign that the economy is coming back. we will show you why it was a merry christmas for retailers this year. it's 8:16. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
8:17 am
8:18 am
welcome back, everybody, to the most news in the morning. it's 8:18, and that means time for minding your business. >> how about some good -- >> experts say tighter security measures at u.s. airports may hurt the airline industry. new measures like pat downs and
8:19 am
increased baggage service could cause significant delays and dampen enthusiasm for air travel. >> one thing that is up because of the recession, and hard to believe this, but court cases. states are closing the year with 4.7 million cases. numbers also suggest this may be the start of these kinds of cases. holiday shoppers spend more this season than a year ago according to master card advisors spending polls. retail sales rose 3%. >> paramount pictures has the number one and number two films on a list that they cannot be real happy about. star trek and the sequel to transformers were the most
8:20 am
pirated copies. that may have cost the studio as much as $79 million in ticket sales. not exactly a list that you want to be on. >> that's right. now, stephanie -- >> we were all ready for you and we had talking to do. >> yeah, it's because i have a lot of good stuff to talk about. it's nice to have something decent to share. we are looking at holiday sales today. the day after thanksgiving, all the way to december 24th, numbers were looking merrier. just this about how you were feeling this time last year. probably, it's a little bit better this year. that's part of the reason we are seeing numbers increase. and there is one extra day between the period this year versus last year. so that is also adding to the
8:21 am
pot. if you take that day out, sales are up 1%, which is in line with the forecast here. people on the east coast and part of the midwest, i managed to get out the morning before the big storm hit, but for a lot of other people it affected their shopping and that led to online shopping sales going up. that's a big number to see that number jump up like that. retail sales, online shopping, 10% of that. still, it's ale about getting people to the stores. electronics, up by 5.9%. and so this is obviously a better number for them. we will get a better idea of how sales look for the entire period when january -- when the december numbers come out.
8:22 am
it does seem things were getting better here. i don't know if you ventured to a mall, which normally freaks me out -- >> i did. i did. i went out shopping a bit, and i did not see a lot of stuff that i wanted to buy, you know. there was a lot of junk. >> there is a reason for that. the reason is because the retailers got hurt last year. they had too much on their selves and too much inventory, and it hurt them going into the new year. if you did not get out there early to get what you wanted, it really hurt them. >> three times i went to the mall while i was home in california and all three times pulled in and gate a parking space right away in silicon valley, which is perhaps some people doing shopping online. for a lot of people it's changing the way they were shopping. there was not as many big deals,
8:23 am
but there were other ways to get people in. >> did you get anything? >> online? we have to keep working it. all right. thank you, stephanie. still ahead is the most dreaded test this high school. could the end sat? carol costello has that coming up next. [ announcer ] if you think about it, this is a lot like most job search sites. - they let everyone in, - [ crowd groans ] so the best people can't stand out. join theladders.com. the premium job site for only $100k+ jobs... and only $100k+ talent.
8:24 am
8:25 am
checking the time foryou foryouonthis monday morning. it's time for an a.m. original. something you will only see on "american morning." >> teens are told their sats
8:26 am
could make or break what they want. but that could change. >> we are looking at the changing standards for the subsidized test only here. >> a feeling of anxiety, angkt. parents pay the review and other organizations $600 to $8,000 for special classes or private tu r tutors so their child can beat the sat. this girl is spending her summer in sat class. >> i am hoping that i can get through it. >> imagine all of the angst for
8:27 am
a test. >> there are people who think naturally and correctly that the sat is a matter of intelligence, but it's not. >> it's not that a student needs to take special students to ace the s.a.t. >> on this test, three squared, plus four squared, you need to know three, four, five. >> that's just wrong. >> the s.a.t. is the test of the basic skills ones needs to see in college. >> it shows you how much they have learned in school. >> many universe say
8:28 am
differently. >> would you like to see the s.a.t. go away? >> i would love to see it go away. >> the principal in baltimore for inner city kids say the deck is stacked against lower income children. according to the college board's own stats, in 2009, kids whose parents make up to $20,000 a year scored an average 1321 on a scale of 2400. if a kids' parents makes above $200,000 a year, that goes up 381 points to avenue average of 702. but if the playing field is not
8:29 am
fair to begin with, the principal wonders why a perfect 2400 seems to matter so much? >> it's one indicator of what a child is capable of. all of those things weigh in. >> well, i don't know about you, but for a short time i did wish the s.a.t.s would have been scrapped when i was studying for them. >> yeah, and many are hoping they will be scrapped. >> all of the fun tests, yeah. >> and we want to know what you think. should the s.a.t.s be scrapped? comment on our blog. it's 29 minutes after the hour, checking our top stories this afternoon. prosecutors in michigan are expected to ask a judge for dna samples from a man accused of
8:30 am
trying to blow up a u.s. flight. the government crack down continues. iran's state-run media says eight people died during sunday's clash which took place on one of the holiest days on the shiite calendar. another deadly suicide attack in pakistan. the death toll rising in just the past hour. police say a second blast in kau rauchy in less than 24 hours killed at least 15 people and wounded 20. the target was a shiite religious procession. on a northwest airlines flight over detroit, britain's home secretary confirmed he was denied a student visa and placed on a uk watch list in 2008. the worldwide resources of cnn take us to phil black live in
8:31 am
london. it's an interesting detail he was placed on the list in 2008. >> yeah, that's correct. the british government confirmed he was placed on the watch list in the country that prevented him from free entering the country. we know he stayed here for three years between 2005 and mid 2008, and then earlier this year he reapplied for another visa to come back and study again. that was denied on the grounds that the university he wanted to study at did not exist. take a listen to the british home secretary, allen johnson. >> what we do know about abdulmutallab is he was here on a student visa and studied on a degree course at ucl, and applied to come back on a student visa in may, which was
8:32 am
refused which means he went on to our watch list and cannot enter the country. now, where he was radicalized, that's all the subject of an intensive enquire ease the americans are making at the moment and the police are helping them with. >> for a third day now, british police and security agencies are investigating abdulmutallab and those years he spend in london to determine how they played a part in the attack. could he possibly still have soegsets sources or accomplices. >> the u.s. government still trying to find out more about this suspect. what have you been able to learn that you can tell us about his life growing up before all of
8:33 am
this happened? >> cnn had an interesting conversation with one of his high school students. he went to a fairly good school in africa, and during those schooling years he made a couple visits. and through speaking to his teacher, we have been given a picture who at that very young age was known to be fiercely religious, devout, his nickname was a pope. and he was described as being capable and intelligent and curious, and his teacher says although he was fiercely religious because of some of the comments that he made in the class, it was hope to believe it was just a phase and he would grow out of it that >> phil, thank you. coming up, if you were going to assess the successes and
8:34 am
failures of foreign policy in the obama administration over the last year, what kind of a grade would you give the president? >> that's a good question. >> we will ask that question in just a few minutes. stay with us. xate, and swelling of ra with one dose a month. visit 4simponi.com to see if you qualify for a full year of cost support. simponi™ can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious and sometimes fatal events can occur, such as infections, cancer in children and adults, heart failure, nervous system disorders, liver or blood problems, and allergic reactions. before starting simponi,™ your doctor should test you for tb and assess your risk of infections, including fungal infections and hepatitis b. ask your doctor if you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, or develop symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start simponi™ if you have an infection.
8:35 am
(woman) ask your rheumatologist about simponi.™ just one dose, once a month. with annuities from fidelity. turn your savings into income -- guaranteed, anget a retirement "paycheck" for life -- guaranteed. call... to get started, and learn how to secure retirement income that won't go down -- guaranteed. call fidelity at... for details about guaranteed income for life, and change the way you think about your retirement savings. it doesn't cover everything.
8:36 am
8:37 am
welcome back. president obama started 2009 pledging to reach out to iran, scale back troops in iraq, and focus the mission in afghanistan. so it has been accomplished. what comes next? to join us for the break down, william cohen, chairman and ceo of the comun group. let's start with iran. we will talk about engagement. the administration has been trying to use engagement. was putting the emphasis on talking a good idea? we ask you both, and we will start with you robin? >> yeah, the president gets a b
8:38 am
plus for effort and d minus for results. this was critical in rallying international support from the allies, people who are important to sanctions or other initiatives the u.s. is forced to take if iran does not comply. >> i think at this point we are looking at the need for some kind of action. i think we have gone as far as we can in terms of timeframe, and now is the time for the u.n., but especially for russia and which i thank you to join in. they really can impose targeted and pointed sanctions against those financial institutions in iran, and especially the iranian revolutionary guard core. they need to be focused on the sanctions. >> the u.s. is threatening iran with tough sanctions if they don't agree to certain
8:39 am
concessions in the nuclear program by the end of the year. would sanctions work and are there any other options, including military options robin right? >> i think the obama had minute administration plans to keep the door open even though it imposes sanctions. this is say you you face consequences eer can be part of the negotiations again. there are questions whether anybody will convince iran to comply. this particular regime is facing extraordinary pressure. that makes it difficult for it to take an action that might be seen as controversial at home. >> bill cohen, is a military option viable? >> well, there are only three
8:40 am
options. one is to impose tougher and targeted sanctions. second would be a military option dh would have to have military intelligence and the execution would have to be p preci precise. it's not a highly dishonorable option to say the least. the third option is the one we appear to be headed for and that's to live with an iran that has a nuclear weapon. that sets off a whole cascade of considerations. we would see the end of the nonproliferation regime, and we could see nuclear materials being smuggled into europe and having a catastrophic result.
8:41 am
that appears to be where we are headed and sanctions may be the only issue we can apply right now. iran is experiencing the biggest up rising and the most violent government response it has seen in months. the u.s. has been fairly measured in its response so far. is that the right approach or does the u.s. need to get tougher in its stance on this, and more supportive of the opposition and more critical of the government? robin? >> there is a real danger is the united states takes a stands on the side of the green movement, that it will taint it, and it will make the opposition more vulnerable to have a crackdown. i think the obama administration has been caution for a reason.
8:42 am
in the last couple weeks it has been more vocal in pointing out the ruthlessness of the government without taking sides. i think that's upon important development. i think you are seeing that happen in other parts of the world, too. in a coordinated campaign to say to the regime you need to be careful what you do internally. >> i heard you give the administration something in the range of a b. bill cohen, i would like you to give me a grade also. do you think the administration needs to toughen up? >> i think we are likely to see the elevation in the condemnation of what is taking place. i would hope the united states have alliesed in the united states, especially those that process to be concerned about human rights conditions. if there could be a coordinated up riding i think that would carry much more weight than the united states coming forward and being more critical.
8:43 am
so coordinated approach would be best. on the grading, i am fond of what somebody quoted to nixon. they said it was too early to tell. that's a good response for any new administration. i give them high marks for trying to change the tone for our diplomacy and changing the approach and how we worked on a multilateral basis instead of a unilateral basis. i did not particularly appreciate the decision on how the cancelation of the missile defense system was handled. i thought the joint statement in china was unnecessary in terms of the implications for india. i think they get high marks for changing the attitude that other people have towards the united states, and that gives us lef rinl in moving forward and puts us in a better situation.
8:44 am
>> thank you. appreciate you both coming in this morning. tired of your old credit card rate? jerri willis has financial resolutions you might want to consider for the year. we'll be right back.
8:45 am
8:46 am
just a little bit of snow left there. columbus circle here in new
8:47 am
york. after all the rain, it washed it all away. >> yeah, it sure did. >> what a beautiful thing. i am not real big on snow. it's nice to look at, as long as it's in somebody else's neighborhood. >> reynolds wolf, it gives you something to talk about, right? >> yeah, like a snowman. >> yeah, i lived in detroit, michigan for several years and was confined to heavy snowfall they have in the winter. in florida you don't have to shovel sunshine, and that's a good thing. and there is snow showers coming out of the west, and it picks up the moisture and we have snow to the tune of up to a foot in some of the elevations out near 81. michigan, here is detroit. old stomping grounds along i-75. when you head further south, snow is not going to be an issue. maybe scattered rain showers in
8:48 am
the ohio valley, but in the deep south, plenty of sunshine. and scattered snow showers possible for parts of the new york new mexico. it's all going to be a rain event. 39 in denver. 31 in chicago. 41, atlanta. mainly 40s and 30s for boston n and new york. the wind will be a big issue in new york. and chicago and detroit, light snow and wind, and minneapolis, wind could give you some delays, too. >> that does not look too good anywhere you go, new york, chicago, minneapolis, you have a problem anywhere you look, right? >> a little bit. if you are heading south, you will be just fine. places like rochester and buffalo will be a testing day
8:49 am
for you. >> happy monday. >> yeah, enjoy it all the way around. >> yeah, take the train. tired of skyrocketing fees and shrinking credit limits. geri willis tells you about terms next. sh response can call to see if you're ok. if you don't answer, they can automatically send help. i think i'll ride with you. now during the chevy red tag event, get an '09 malibu with 0 percent apr for 72 months. see red and save green. now at your local chevy dealer.
8:50 am
8:51 am
welcome back totd to the most news in the morning.
8:52 am
>> jerri willis tries to tell us how to get the best best deals on your own terms. >> yeah, they jack up the rates and good customers are the ones getting nailed. >> everybody is getting nailed. take a look at the numbers. it's shocking how much the rates have gone up. up 32% since january. the average rate is 15%. that means that since last january, you paid $110 just in interest on your credit card. for all of us, that's $10 billion. the worst defenders, capital one, citi and discover. those are big institutions. the rates are up enough dramatically. fortunately the end of the a
8:53 am
arbitrary rate hike is coming up soon. and so the big question, how can you find a card that fits your needs. one of the big secrets here is to use a local community bank because the rates are particularly one to 2% lower than big bank cards. this is something you should ask for when signing up for a new card. you should have fees capped, and a 25-day grace period. all of those rules will change in february. we even have a list of actual cards that you could get if have you a decent credit score that have decent terms. there are literally thousands of cards out there. pentagon federal has a card called the visa gold. balance transfer fee. and you have to like that.
8:54 am
no balance transfer fee. you have to shop around, guys. there is no other way to get a good card. you cannot pull the offers out of the mailbox and expect to get something that makes a lot of sense. >> they are all doing this before the rates changed and the rates are capped. >> they will have to give you notification for weeks ahead of the rate change. they do not have completes freedom to do that any more. people are frustrated, and it makes sense to shop for a new card out there. we have seen some of the language they are starting to use that makes more sense. at the end of the day, go to a website like ratings.com. see if things fit your lifestyle
8:55 am
and what you are doing. don't have a corkscrew for the bottle of wine? don't worry. this guy has a unique situation to that problem.
8:56 am
8:57 am
it's 56 minutes after the hour. that means it's time for the most news in the morning. >> by now you probably sobered up maybe from the holiday weekend, and if you are lucky there is a bottle or two leftover. >> jeanne moos has a helpful thought on how to open a bottle. >> we don't mean the usual will way, we mean without a corkscrew, call it the cork shoe technique. he has an effort to open what
8:58 am
surely was not the first bottle of the night. go ahead and laugh. 20 seconds later this frenchman had the bottle uncorked. his feet is the subject of internet instruction. >> how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. step one stick a screw in the cork. >> ranging from a hammer to a beater and a mixer. the cork was shoved inside the bottle. others recommend using a sharpie. a wine professional might resort to a tree, or you could try using the phone book. who said the internet made the phone book obsolete, try doing
8:59 am
this with a laptop. funny, when they did it it looked so easy. >> do you think because it's cheap wine? >> notta. >> so my producer took over. champagne corks are bigger and easier. here is a method of leaves you more skewed than a corkscrew. we tried whacking the floor. we tried the bottle and boot technique, but the cork would not budge. >> 85% of the world's wine's corks come from portuguese. >> man. that was

410 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on