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Protests at LAX Airport; President Bush Prepares to Meet with Prime Minister Maliki; Interview with Jesse Jackson

Aired November 26, 2006 - 16:00   ET


MICHAEL RICHARDS, COMEDIAN: The African-American community is -- I mean, the leadership has opened up the healing. And for that I am grateful.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Comedian Michael Richards says he is deeply sorry. He was on Jesse Jackson's radio show today. Jackson joins me live to talk about Richards and how he is making amends.

Pope go home, that is the message from thousands of protesters in Turkey. When faiths collide, that's just ahead in the NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: I'm Carol Costello in for Fredricka Whitfield. All that and more after this check of the headlines.

Iraqi police and the U.S. military all targeted today by Iraqi insurgents. Major diplomatic efforts are in the works to try to stop the violence. We'll have a live report for you in 60 seconds.

Demanding answers in New York, police riddle a car with 50 rounds of ammunition. But the suspects inside are unarmed. One, a groom-to- be is dead. Now the families and a well-known community activist want to know why. A live report for you from New York just ahead.

"Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards tries to make amends for making racist comments at a comedy club. He makes an appearance on Jesse Jackson's radio show. We'll tell you what he said and have a live interview with the Reverend Jackson. That too coming up.

Istanbul, Turkey, more than 20,000 Muslims jammed the streets telling Pope Benedict to stay home. The pontiff is scheduled to arrive in Turkey Tuesday for a four-day visit. The protesters are angry about a speech the pope gave in September that they said linked Islam with violence.

And now, smoke fills the skies over Baghdad. The aftermath of a mortar attack on a U.S. military post. Other attacks across Iraq left at least 12 people dead. In just three days, Iraq's prime minister will discuss the deteriorating security situation in Iraq with President Bush. Want to know more on that? Let's go live now to CNN's White House correspondent, Ed Henry. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Carol, what makes the situation in Iraq even more dire is the fact that it's just one of three hot spots in the region that are teetering on the brink of civil war.


HENRY (voice over): Fresh killings and kidnappings in Baghdad just as President Bush preps for a midweek summit with Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. But the host of the talks, Jordan's King Abdullah, is warning that Lebanon and the Gaza Strip may also soon be engulfed in sectarian violence.

KING ABDULLAH II, JORDAN: We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands.

HENRY: In a sign of the urgency, Vice President Cheney engaged in shuttle diplomacy in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, setting the stage for the president's face-to-face meeting with the Iraqi prime minister.

ABDULLAH: We hope that there will be something dramatic. The challenges obviously in front of both of them are immense.

HENRY: The radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is threatening to boycott parliament if al-Maliki goes ahead with the Bush meeting.

DR. MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE, IRAQI NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: This is all political posturing. It's all red herring. It's an anti-threat. This is a very stable government.

HENRY: Mr. Bush faces competing pressure within his own party, with Republican Chuck Hagel Sunday calling for a phased pullout of U.S. troops, declaring, "We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self- delusion reminiscent of Vietnam."

Other Republicans are urging a massive increase in U.S. troop levels.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: We're talking about 20,000 to 50,000 additional troops to embed them with the Iraqis so that when we clear areas we can actually secure them. Then we need to disarm the militias, we need to arrest al-Sadr.

HENRY: But leading Democrats scoff at that idea and are skeptical about the president's summit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'm afraid of, it's going to be a photo session, they'll talk, they'll leave, and nothing will be done consistently. We've got to follow up on that meeting.


HENRY: Now this summit will also give the president another chance to take a measure of Prime Minister Maliki. Mr. Bush has repeatedly expressed confidence in the prime minister. But U.S. officials in recent months have grown concerned if he is stepping up enough. Carol?

COSTELLO: Ed Henry, live at the White House, thanks.

I know a lot of you are on your way to the airports. So what about delays? Well, we have Jacqui Jeras has the answers. Hello, Jacqui.


COSTELLO: You'll notice we squeezed back our picture so we can show you weather updates and travel delays all day long. We'll help you steer clear of any trouble spots.

But we want to take you to a trouble spot right now, Los Angeles. As you well know, as we've just said today, millions of Americans hitting the roads, jamming the airports trying to get home after the Thanksgiving holiday. But the Los Angeles Airport may be even more crowded than usual as thousands of strikers prepare to go elbow to elbow with all of those travellers. Reporting live from LAX, Kareen Wynter, what is it like, Kareen?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Carol. Well you may be a bit surprised by this but so far all day today, its been absolutely smooth sailing here at Los Angeles International Airport, one of the nation's busiest airport. That's according to officials.

But it still hasn't stopped those very long, frustrating lines that you see there behind me. This one just continues to keep growing. Nothing in the way of security breaches, we're told. Officials also say, Carol, that the recent ban that they've had on carry-on liquid and gels, well that hasn't impeded the process at all in any way.

Some airline terminals have an average of about a 15-minute wait to pass through those security lines. They've called in a large deployment of extra law enforcement officers to assist with the traffic flow here. The heavy crowds that we're experiencing, that you're really seeing all around me.

Now police will also be keeping a very, very close eye on another part of the terminal, a little bit lower from where we are right now. They'll be staging a protest, the union representing more than 7,000 city employees here. They're in a heated dispute with the city over their contract. They're fighting for increased wages. And some passengers I spoke with said they kept that in mind and headed out a little extra early today.


RACHEL ZACKRISEN, TRAVELER: I planned to be here very early because I knew it was going to be just a madhouse today. One of the busiest travel days of the year. So we decided to come early and it's paying off. I mean, I don't mind waiting because I'm not afraid to miss my flight. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WYNTER: Now the airport official, that we have been, in constant contact with, Carol, regarding this strike. They haven't offered much in the way of details. They're keeping it under wraps. They are basically say they're not too concerned, that this strike is going to cause much of a disruption here.

In fact they say that they haven't even called in extra police for that. And that's because the people who are striking today, those city employees aren't the essential airport workers here that are needed, for example on the runways. These are really people who work behind the desks in administrative role. So they're saying that it shouldn't affect the traffic flow. We'll have to wait and see -- Carol?

COSTELLO: And I know you'll be there to tell us if it does. Kareen Wynter, reporting live from LAX.

WYNTER: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Thanks. Coming up:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Why is he coming hereafter insulting our prophet? This is hypocrisy.


COSTELLO: Muslims turn out in Istanbul to make sure the pope knows they have not forgotten his comments on Islam. This is the scene in Istanbul just two days before Benedict's scheduled arrival.

Actor Michael Richards probably wishes he could take back his racist nightclub rant. He appeared on Jesse Jackson's radio show today. Jackson will join us to talk about what both said.

And this small box could be in your car. Well you don't know a thing about it. It could even send you to jail.


COSTELLO: Time now to go global with headlines from around the world. A shaky cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians appears to be taking hold. Palestinian Authority sources tell CNN, President Mahmoud Abbas is taking several steps to enforce the cease-fire despite a Palestinian rocket barrage in the first hours of the truce.

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is spending the night in the hospital after being diagnosed with a minor heart complaint. He collapsed earlier today. You can see him there while delivering an emotional speech in northern Italy. Aides rushed to keep him from falling over. The 70-year-old Berlusconi leads Italy's conservative opposition. Tens of thousands gathered in Istanbul today to protest the planned visit of Pope Benedict. They denounced him as an enemy of Islam. Tensions running high in Turkey, which hopes to be the first mostly Muslim country to join the European Union. CNN's Delia Gallagher has more for you from Istanbul.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: A crowd of about 10,000 have gathered here in central Istanbul to protest Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to Turkey. They are members of a conservative Islamic party upset about the pope's remarks in Regensburg when he connected Islam to violence.

They are wearing headbands saying, "Pope, go home," and "No to the crusader alliance." There are signs here saying, "We have accepted Jesus as a prophet. Why don't you accept Mohammed?"

So a voice being heard here in Turkey in advance of the pope's visit. He still isn't due to arrive until Tuesday. But certainly these people are making themselves heard that they do not welcome his presence here.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Istanbul.


COSTELLO: Anderson Cooper will be live in Turkey following the pope's visit. His week-long series begins tomorrow night at 10 p.m. Eastern and then starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, CNN will have a full day of special coverage, "When Faiths Collide: Christianity and Muslim." That's all day Tuesday, only on CNN.

He says the racial slurs just flowed out of him. Now he is going into therapy.


RICHARDS: That's not an image I carry around every day and every time I look at an African-American.


COSTELLO: Michael Richards talks about it on Jesse Jackson's radio program. I will talk with Jackson about their conversation in just about three minutes. He's live in the NEWSROOM next.


COSTELLO: Other headlines making news across America. Law enforcement officials in Minnesota say they'll decide later today whether to call off the search for two missing brothers. Night-time temperatures at the Red Lake Indian Reservation have plunged to 20 degrees since the boys disappeared four days ago.

Actor Michael Richards trying to explain his racial rant at a comedy club. Richards appeared on Jesse Jackson's radio show today. He says he's not a racist, that he's shattered by that hateful outburst. He says it was fueled by anger, rather than bigotry.

A group of parents in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, wants to buy a book by U.S. poet laureate Maya Angelou. Actually, they want to ban it, not buy it. The group says "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" contains graphic descriptions of rape and unwanted pregnancy. They want it removed from the high school curriculum.

When you hit the road this Thanksgiving, you may have been in the driver's seat. But big brother may have been along for the ride in the form of a little box. Do you know what it is? Well, it knows a lot about how you drive. CNN's Randi Kaye has more for you.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was after midnight and Edwin Mactos (ph) was on his way home.

EDWIN MACTOS (ph), ACCIDENT VICTIM: It's still a nightmare to me.

KAYE: He was driving his 2002 Pontiac Grand Am down this Florida stretch of road when the unthinkable happened.

MACTOS: All I see was a shadow. Was a split second.

KAYE: Mactos' car slammed into another car that was backing out of a driveway. Inside, two teenage girls.

MACTOS: I would give my life for the life of those two girls.

KAYE: He was too late. The girls died instantly.

(on camera): What Mactos didn't know that night is he wasn't alone in his car. Well, not exactly. Inside, attached to the airbag system was one of these. It's an event data recorder similar to the ones used in airplanes. EDRs, as they're called, record 10 seconds before a crash and less than one second after a crash. Today, more than 40 million cars on the road have that device inside them. It could be in your car.

(voice-over): Car manufacturers say they need it to monitor the air bag system, and guess what? If you try to tinker with it your air bag won't work, even worse, the information hidden inside the recorder could one day be used against you.

MACTOS: The airbag saved my life. The data recorder sent me to prison the rest of my life.

KAYE: These days Mactos is known as inmate No. 518122, he's serving 30 years at this Florida maximum security prison. At his trial, the data recorder served as a silent witness to the crash. The device said Mactos was driving over 114-miles-per-hour.

(on camera): Were you driving 114-miles-per-hour? MACTOS: No, no, no. If I had been driving 114-miles-an-hour this conversation never would happen. I'd be dead.

KAYE (voice-over): In fact, the state's own witness estimated Mactos' speed between 80 and 90. His accident reconstruction expert put it at 60. Mactos says he remembers driving 50, which he admits was still 20 miles over the speed limit.

(on camera): When did you first find out this data recorder was in your car?

MACTOS: When my attorney told me.

KAYE: You paid for your car and no one ever told you about this data recorder.


KAYE (voice-over): Is this a matter of privacy versus safety? Are car owners' hands tied? Robert Strasbourger represents the largest number of car manufacturers in the country.

ROBERT STRASBOURGER, REPRESENTS CAR MANUFACTURERS: The event data recorder would never harm you.

MACTOS: Try telling that to the people Event Data Recorders have helped convict, like Michele Zimmerman. Her passenger, a close friend, died when Zimmerman hit an icy patch and crashed. At trial the EDR said she was going nearly 20-miles-an-hour over the speed limit. State accident reconstructionists (ph) initially said she was not speeding, but Zimmerman was still convicted and sentenced to prison.

Like Edwin Mactos, Zimmerman is working on an appeal.

KAYE (on camera): How reliable would you say these are?

STRASBOURGER: Event Data Recorders are reliable, but they are not the be all and end all.

KAYE: Are EDRs -- are these routinely checked to make sure that they're calibrated and working correctly?

STRASBOURGER: Once they go in the vehicle there is no maintenance required.

KAYE: Manufacturers don't think they need to be checked over those years?


KAYE: Are these incapable of making an error? Is that what you're saying?

STRASBOURGER: No, I'm -- I am not saying they are infallible. KAYE (voice-over): Infallible or not, EDRs have been used in cars since the mid-90s. Today, nearly two-thirds of all new vehicles come with an event data recorder. How do you know if you're driving around with one? If your car is a 2004 or newer, the EDR is supposed to be listed in your owner's manual. When was the last time you read one of those?

(on camera): So why put this warning about this device simply in the owner's manual? Why not post it somewhere where the driver will actually see it or have the salesman actually tell him about it.

STRASBOURGER: Well, the salesman should have information about the new vehicle, and you can ask the new car salesman.

KAYE: But why not, right under where it says airbag put event data recorder.

STRASBOURGER: That's up to the individual manufacturer to do that.

KAYE: Would you be in favor of another form of disclosure besides just in the owner's manual, given the fact that most people don't read the whole manual.

STRASBOURGER: I can't answer these questions.

KAYE (voice-over): But questions are all people like Edwin Mactos have about what privacy rights experts consider to be spies riding shotgun.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Bowling Green, Florida.


COSTELLO: Get a fresh perspective on the day's top stories from Anderson Cooper. Join "A.C. 360" weeknights at 10 p.m. Eastern.

The Bush administration's frequent flier miles. Boy, they're rolling up fast. The president heading to Jordan. The vice president just back from Saudi Arabia. All this activity about what else -- Iraq. What's being said? What's being accomplished? Some answers next.


COSTELLO: It is now just about half past the hour. Now in the news: Baghdad under curfew and American troops under fire. The U.S. military confirming Iraqi militants in Sadr City lobbed two mortar rounds into an American military post in eastern Baghdad. CNN's Arwa Damon has more on the latest developments less than a minute away.

In Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to solidify a shaky cease-fire with Israel by deploying 13,000 Palestinian security forces to enforce the hour's old truce. Palestinian militants violated the agreement, firing volleys of rockets onto Israeli land. In New York, an investigation underway into a police shooting that left a would-be groom dead and two of his friends wounded, one of them critically. It happened early Saturday morning outside of a strip club in Queens. New York's police chief says it's too early to know if the shooting was justified.

In Turkey, an estimated 20,000 Muslims took to the streets protesting Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit. The pope begin is a four-day tour of the predominantly Muslim nation Tuesday. Two month ago, the pope inadvertently offended the Muslim world by quoting an ancient text linking Islam to violence.

Crime apparently does pay when funding Iraq's insurgency. The White House refuses to confirm a classified report cited by the "New York Times," but the bottom line is this: Iraq's insurgency pays for itself through criminal activities. The report estimates that various groups bank rolling Iraqi insurgents have earned anywhere between $70 million and $200 million using counterfeiting, smuggling or kidnappings for ransom.

We're getting word of yet another kidnapping, this one quite brazen even by Iraqi standards. Insurgents attacking a police checkpoint north of Baghdad seizing seven Iraqi police officers. The incident highlights and reinforces a long held suspicion, the security situation in Iraq is steadily growing worse. At its center, political discord. CNN's Arwa Damon has the latest for you from the Iraqi capital.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marching in military formation, thousands of supporters of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al- Sadr took to the streets in Najaf, carrying mock coffins, flags and banners to commemorate the death of al-Sadr's father, a revered Shia cleric. The show of force a reminder of al-Sadr's power, the same power that helped give Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the country's top job. But now al-Sadr's political bloc is threatening to suspend its activities in the government if al-Maliki meets U.S. President George W. Bush next week in Jordan.

The Iraqi prime minister, trying to stop his nation and government from disintegrating, held a joint press conference with his fellow Shia, Kurdish and Sunni leaders. And for the first time, echoed what we have long been hearing from the Iraqi people.

NOURI AL-MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Let's be totally honest. The security situation is a reflection of political disagreement.

DAMON: Coming from the man who usually insists his government is one of national unity, this signals a shift in the Iraqi government's public face. And with that, comes an acknowledgement.

AL-RUBAIE: Last year, have our constitution ratified. And we hoped that would have been the national contract, if you like. But now obviously we need to review that. DAMON: More than just a review, the Iraqi people are demanding action from their government.

AL-RUBAIE: If they don't agree and the level of violence gets worse, then the country will split. So they have to get their act together. The political leaders, the religious leaders, they need to get their act together and agree on a formula how to divide the economic and political power.

DAMON: And he warned that now was the time for the government to take unpopular decisions before everything slips away.

(on camera): According to Iraqi officials, dozens of fellow Shias pelted the prime minister's convoy with stones as he was visiting the relatives of bombing victims in Sadr City. And the government curfew has done little to curb the violence, which has now escalated into a mortar war between Sunni and Shia neighborhoods.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


COSTELLO: Vice President Dick Cheney just left the Middle East. President Bush goes there this coming week. What's to be read into all this high-level travel? Author, and Mideast analyst Sandra Mackey joins me for more on the changing face of U.S.-pan Arab diplomacy.



COSTELLO: Don't usually see Dick Cheney jetting off to a country for six hours and then jetting right back, what meeting is there in this quick trip to Saudi Arabia?

MACKEY: Well I think you know it indicates the real crisis of the situation. That it's been obvious for, oh, I would say, two years, that the United States exit strategy from Iraq would not be in the hands of the United States. But would be dictated by events on the ground. We have reached one of those "crisis points" or one of those "boiling points" in which, you know, just everything is unraveling.

COSTELLO: So you would term this an emergency meeting. So what was said?

MACKEY: Well -- what is happening, I hope, is that the administration is beginning to look at the situation in Iraq as a regional problem. That you simply cannot isolate Iraq and deal with it as one entity detached from its surrounding area, because certainly other countries are playing their role in this. The Saudis have some influence among the Sunis in the Suni triangle in the area that we have had a great deal of difficulty, you know, pacifying. Now, how much they can actually do because some of it is --

COSTELLO: They can talk, they are certainly not going to help us with money, troops, nothing? MACKEY: Well they won't help us out with troops. Possibly there could be some financial support. But I think it would be under the table. And the Saudis have a real vested interest in this. Because they're very concerned about the rise of Shia power in Iraq and in Lebanon. And that is really the new dynamic in this whole situation. Is that you do not have a United Arab world any longer. You have the Suni Arab world and the Shia Arab world. We are going to see that played out over a long period.

COSTELLO: Sandra Mackey, thanks for joining us, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.

Actor Michael Richards' racist rant at a comedy nightclub caused uproar. Now he is sorry, we will see what measures he is taking to show that.

Later, accidentally took your big bottle of shampoo to the airport and you had to give it up at security. So where did your shampoo go? The answer is coming up IN THE NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: The race is on to get that perfect holiday gift for techno-files in your life. CNN tech correspondent Daniel Sieberg has some recommendations.

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: As the holiday shopping season heats up you may be stressing what to buy for your favorite gadget head. Well fear not. Joining us now with some tech tidings and some ideas is Brian Cooley from CNET. Brian let's start with the digital camera that you brought with you. Seems digital cameras are everywhere, the prices are coming down, the quality is going up.

BRIAN COOLEY, CNET: That results in this camera here the Sony DSCT50, that is a slim pocket camera easy to stick in a shirt pocket or a purse, 7.2 mega pixels, that is a lot of resolution in a very slim package with a big screen on the back. And it is a touch screen for actually operating the camera. It is a slick package.

SIEBERG: How much are you going to pay for them?

COOLEY: $500 list, I have seen it for about $360 online.

SIEBERG: OK, and speaking of familiar tech products, Apple's iPods have been out for a while. But you have a couple of new ones.

COOLEY: Well they have redone the Nano. Here is the new Nano; it has more of rounded shape. Most importantly it has a really good price to size ratio, $249 for an 8 GB Nano. That is a lot of storage for a competitive price. The big iPod, which plays video, also has got a better screen, more storage for a better price ratio. They have gotten better.

SIEBERG: I'm sure they will be tweaking them even more in months and years to come. The Moeby Blue player makes the iPods look big though. COOLEY: This is crazy; I showed this to you before. It was only an audio player as you recall. Now they have added video play back to it, so you can load video files through translation software they include. Play them on the little .6-inch screen, it is not very big, but it is very sharp.

SIEBERG: Do I need magnifying glass?

COOLEY: Definitely will.

SIEBERG: Now speaking of having stuff on the go, your music and movies. The next you are going to talk about the PDA helps you find where you are going?

COOLEY: This is a great merger of some technology. They have taken over at HP this Ipack RX5900 and they have added windows mobile PDA, to Tom-tom GPS navigation plus a wi-fi connectivity for Web browsing wirelessly wherever you may go. Three useful technologies in one but it is not a phone.

SIEBERG: Important to upon the out. How much would the price be for that one?

COOLEY: That goes for $600.

SIEBERG: Somebody you really like on your wish list.

COOLEY: I hope.

SIEBERG: Brian Cooley with CNET, thank you for helping us out.

COOLEY: You got it.


COSTELLO: A busy travel day today. Let's go to the expert in all things travel and weather. Jacqui Jeras.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It has been busy. But nothing compared to Wednesday. Wednesday of course the busiest travel day of the year. Today, I believe the second or maybe third. Certainly a lot of people, millions of Americans hitting the highways and getting into the airways and they are having a little trouble in the airways. Newark, we have a ground stop for you right now. Palm Beach; there in Florida 45 minute departure delay. Doing OK arriving there if you are going back home. San Francisco we have a ground delay now over an hour. The clouds have come in. We got the rain coming in. We're going to start to see snow picking up into the Sierras. Terboro now 2 1/2 hour ground delays that are for trying to arrive into Tarboro one of the alternate airports in the New York City area.

Our forecast for tomorrow if you are trying to avoid the big rush for today, tomorrow might be a better travel day across parts of the east. The west though certainly not looking good here. We're very concerned with this storm system pushing in for today. We are going to be seeing very heavy snow, the snowfall in the mountains have been two to three inches per hour. We are talking a good two feet of snow into the higher elevations, so the snow maybe mixing in Seattle tonight. Portland could be seeing some snow for tomorrow. Not really anticipating any accumulations. Even Salt Lake City here we think this is going to start as rain throughout much of the day. Maybe mix in with snow by the afternoon tomorrow night. You are going to see that snow. That is going to linger into your Tuesday.

The winds are just going to be adding insult to injury. We are seeing gusts very common, 30-plus miles per hour. You get up into the mountains you get through the passes into the canyons we are talking 50 to 60 mile per hour winds. So very potent storm system. This is going to be lasting a couple of days. Just a little bit of moisture into the nation's midsection. Don't think that is going to do too much to affect your travel.


COSTELLO: All right. Thank you, Jacqui. Michael Richards sat down with Jesse Jackson to apologize for his racist nightclub rant. We'll talk to Jackson next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that's right at all. They are selling something that is not theirs.

COSTELLO: You left your shampoo or your water bottle at the security table at the airport. Then you got on the plane. But what exactly happened to your stuff? We will find out next.


COSTELLO: They are confiscated from passengers at every airport in the country, items banned by the TSA, seeming constant revolving security rules. The sheer amount is staggering. What exactly happens to all those seized goods? Our Zain Verjee is at Regan National Airport, I am so curious about this Zain.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol hi there. It is frustrating enough, traveling you have to hand over your belt; you have to hand over your shoes every now and then as well. You are standing in long lines. But what happens when you pack things that you really need. Maybe tweezers, maybe some scissors and all the rest of it. If you want it back you have to buy it back.


VERJEE (voice over): Hand it over. Out go the guns, no knives or razors, lighters, nope. Sorry, no scissors.

RAMIN ZAMANI, TRAVELER: And I was traveling, I had my scissors, $800 pair of scissors they took it away.

VERJEE: Ever wondered where the stuff you surrender at the airport goes? It is boxed up and transported to a warehouse like this one in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that receives items from 14 airports in several northeast states. Government agencies can look for bargains in person, like police officer Robert Wolf who comes here once a month.

CPL. ROBERT WOLF: We are going to use the knives in the break room.

VERJEE: This program started in July of 2004. Ken Hess directs the operation and oversees a small staff that sorts the items from the obvious.

KEN HESS: Pocketknives, scissors. We are getting a lot more silverware as you can see. Cork screws.

VERJEE: To the obnoxious.

HESS: Shock absorbers for vehicles, four of them. We had an antique sausage grinder.

VERJEE: It gets weirder.

HESS: We get quite a variety of S & M materials, whips, handcuffs; I'm not sure what some of the things are to be honest with you. Rambo knife. Don't leave home without your chain saw. This was the infamous machete. That's not plastic.

VERJEE: Most of these items wind up online.

HESS: The bulk of our sales are e-bay.

VERJEE: Here is a wine set we wanted to track on e-bay. After four days there have been seven bids. The latest one at $6.59. Take a look at the seller's other items all the stuff you gave up.

WES CRAISH, TRAVELER: I don't think that's right. They're selling something that is not theirs.

VERJEE: The TSA doesn't have a problem with it.

KIP HAWLEY, TSA DIRECTOR: Once the security issue is done its then their business.


VERJEE: And business is good, Carol. They have made a profit of $280,000 since its inception. Most of it is through e-bay. Most of the money actually all of the money goes to the state of Pennsylvania. Goes into this general fund. And all the different agencies can draw from it. In one case they have tutored kids after school.


COSTELLO: That makes me feel a lot better. Thank you Zain Verjee at Regan National Airport. Thanks.

Let's talk Michael Richards now saying it was anger not bigotry. That is what was behind his racially charged rant. Michael Richards is offering yet another apology. Today he spoke on the Reverend Jesse Jackson's radio show. CNN's Brooke Anderson listened in.


RICHARDS: I know I have hurt them very, very deeply. And now I can -- I can -- I can say I am deeply sorry for this.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Michael Richards is apologizing once again for his racist rant at a comedy club in Los Angeles. Richards came here to premiere radio networks to sit face to face with Reverend Jesse Jackson on his nationally syndicated radio show "Keep Hope Alive" to personally ask for forgiveness from the African-American community.

REVEREND JESSE JACKSON: You used the word niger and then the lynching scene have you been here before?

RICHARDS: No, no, no, no, no. It's the first time for me to talk to an African-American like that. That's a first time for me.

I'm really busted up over this.

ANDERSON: But this isn't the first time he said I'm sorry. This latest act of contrition comes nearly a week after Richards' appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman." It wasn't well received.

SINBAD, COMEDIAN: That was the worst apology I have ever seen. That apology was a piece of trash. You can't go on Letterman. That's the punk way out.

ANDERSON: CNN was the only media outlet allowed into Jackson's radio show which included a call from Al Sharpton and featured comic Paul Moony and two NAACP leaders in studio. We were asked to film the interview. But at the very last minute before the show went on the air, Richards became extremely uncomfortable with the presence of the cameras and we were told they were no longer permitted. Richards did allow brief filming only during a commercial break.

Do you see yourself as a symbol of this bigger issue now?

RICHARDS: Perhaps a voice that got it in motion.

ANDERSON: Following the show, Richards spoke exclusively to CNN about what he plans to do next.

RICHARDS: Personal work, deep personal work.

ANDERSON: As in therapies? Psychiatry?

RICHARDS: To get to the depths of my anger, the issues of anger. I'm seeing some one now.

ANDERSON: How do you think this went this morning?

RICHARDS: The African-American community has -- I mean, the leadership has -- has opened up the healing. And for that I'm grateful.

ANDERSON: Community leaders hope the healing extends to everyone. Not just Michael Richards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to begin at home too. Within our own community and begin today stamping out using that word called, the n- word. We hope that everybody across America will join us and never allow their children or allowing themselves to use the n-word.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This word has no place in our society.


ANDERSON: And comic Paul Moony who has used n-word in his act in the past told me that he will never use it again. Carol, I want to mention by the end of the interview, Reverend Jackson was giving Michael Richards knuckles, as in a high five, but with the knuckles during commercial breaks it seemed he was encouraging him, comforting him in a way. Richards seemed to relax a bit. It was clear he wasn't being attacked he was being embraced by these leaders who want this to serve as a first step in the healing process.

COSTELLO: Interesting. We'll ask Jesse Jackson about that right now. That is interesting. Thank you, Brooke. We appreciate that. Jesse Jackson joins us live now. Thanks for joining us Reverend Jackson.

JACKSON: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: Do you think that this apology from Michael Richards was genuine this time perhaps over his appearance on "David Letterman."


COSTELLO: Can you hear me?

JACKSON: I can now. Well he is genuinely sick by his own admission. He is engaged in this racist tirade. He may not think it to be racist. Clearly it is that. He does need to get well. There are broader ramifications of what he said. And one has to do with we put all the focus on, the comedian and ignored the impact of the return to Congress with his baggage.

COSTELLO: Let's stick to Michael Richards for just a second. I am interested in the reaction that your audience gave you after this apology from Michael Richards. Have you received many calls?

JACKSON: We have. But again. when he is going through acknowledgement and contrition and this issue of forgiveness it will take time for him to gain trust or regain trust. He will determine whether there will be forgiveness, forgiveness is a process. It is not a declaration. So he is trying to get well. But I cannot separate this outburst from the climate in which this is taking place.

COSTELLO: I understand that. I want to go back to his getting well. He says he is in therapy. He says that his use of the n-word was fueled by rage and not bigotry. Do you buy that?

JACKSON: No, as a matter of fact. I asked him the source of the rage. Anybody that attacked him, molested him, robbed, raped him, he said. No what is the basis of the racist? Why is your layer so thin, you are heckled? He was not sure the hecklers, black or white, matter of fact. Going from that to the excessive use of profanity, repretish use of the word niger, and idea about some body lynching from a tree, that's pretty pathologic, pretty sick.

COSTELLO: I think he said the n-word seven times in 2:15. He told you on the radio show. I heard him. This was the first time he ever used the n-word directed towards an African-American, do you believe that?

JACKSON: No, it is difficult to believe that. I believe he needs to get well. I do not believe this is the first time he engaged in this tirade. He needs to get to well. I submit to you. He is a symbol of a deeper malady in our culture. Richards one day, Harold Ford running a campaign for Senate and then Republican Party uses a race bait to in fact diminish his chance of winning that Senate seat. It is how we respond to Katrina. Lack of commitment to enforce civil rights laws, some how we as a nation must come to grips with the impact of this malady of this kind of anti black man.

COSTELLO: You heard Michael Richards say that he hopes he opened a dialogue to fix those kinds of sentiments in the African-American community.

JACKSON: I hope they will. There is not one black-hosted show on CNN, CBS, any show between 5:00 and 12:00. All day, all night, all white. Arsenio Hall 15 years ago, the Bill Cosby show, ABC news network anchor 20 years ago. There seems to be a receding away from in collusion. I hope he has opened up a wound. In it we find a lot of glass. Must take the glass out to get healing. I hope all networks watching this. We must all; make a commitment to really stop using the pejorative, inflammatory n-word. Must stop it no matter who does it.

COSTELLO: I think we all agree with that. Reverend Jesse Jackson. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. We appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thank you.

COSTELLO: The weather might not be the only issue when it comes to possible travel delays. You are now looking actually will be in just a second. Live pictures of the Los Angeles Airport. Thousands of workers preparing to go on strike today on one of the busiest travel days of the year. The one-day strike expected within the next hour. One of the stories we are following as we head into the next hour of THE CNN NEWSROOM.


REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm Reynolds Wolf with a look at the cold & flu season report. As we get deeper into the month of November. We are seeing more cases of the flu popping up in many spots. Especially in parts of southeast, the Mid-Atlantic states. As well as the central Rockies and even the west coast. However, the Pacific Northwest and portions of the Great Lakes you are going to be breathing easy. That's a look at today's cold & flu season report.



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